"What is a stain? In normal parlance regarding fabric, the word always denotes soilage, dirtiness, a mess...However, art jargon observes a special meaning of stain
, coined by the Clement Greenberg to name the procedure, presumably derived from Jackson Pollock by Helen Frankenthaler, that put within reach the formalist ideals for painting of utter 'flatness' and 'pure opticality.' Making his Stains
in the early 1970s, a period that saw among other things the decadence of color field, Ruscha economically revived the Pollockian marriage of beauty and squalor. This may help to explain why, with such apparent modesty, the Stains
pack such a punch. They are filthy beautiful in classic key."
Peter Schjeldahl in Exh. Cat., New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Edward Ruscha Stains 1971 to 1975, 1992, n.p.