Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London
Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Private Collection, Seoul
Acquired by the present owner from the above
In Ruscha's visually succinct colloquy, the ones for which he is arguably the most famous, text is suspended in isolation amidst an oceanic expanse of canvas. "Ruscha methodically demystifies his subjects by bringing them into myopic perspective and making them seem no more than found objects drifting unattached across the viewer's consciousness." (Dan Cameron, "Love in Ruins" in: Exhibition Catalogue, Paris, Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Edward Ruscha: Paintings, 1989-90, p. 17).
In the present Johnny Tomorrow, 1984, a galactic gradation that transcends from an inky black to plum wine to romantic violet to pale sand, swirls behind the text resulting in an image that is distinctly representative of the artist's unique brand of modernist poetry, equal parts verbal and visual. By placing lyrical linguistic combinations in dreamlike landscapes, such as the Hollywood Hills, the Swiss Alps, – or, in this case – the atmosphere, Ruscha is able to distill his surrealistic impulses into a single composition. As he explains, "I've always had a deep respect for things that are odd, for things which cannot be explained. Explanations seem to me to sort of finish things off." (the artist in conversation with Bernard Blistine, in Exhibition Catalogue, Barcelona, Centro Cultural de la Fundacio Caixa de Pensions, Ed Ruscha, 1990, pp. 36-8).
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