These works evidence a keen curatorial eye and daring intellect in their selection, while collectively showcasing the stunning wit, boundless experimentation and unrivaled artistic creativity of Ruscha—an artist who has come to define and transcend the American artistic canon for almost six-decades. This particular selection of works on paper is from a ten-year period integral to Ruscha’s stylistic development, with each work highlighting the artist’s unabashed creative fervor and innovative material experimentation. Margit Rowell commented on the consummate power of Ruscha’s drawings on the occasion of the Whitney Museum’s exhibition of the artist’s drawings in 2004, writing, “However, if the camera traditionally captures reality, it also distorts reality, even more so, one might suppose, when the camera is in the mind's eye...The result is a body of images that purport to document ‘the here and now,’ but which have been filtered through a lens that is neither objective nor real. Yes, Ruscha's eye is a camera, but it is like none other, which is why his drawings are unsettling and unique" (Margit Rowell, Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha, New York 2004, p. 25). Papers (1972), Corn Eyes (1977), Romeo (1981), and Motel Management School (1982), crafted during a decade of extreme productivity and creative ingenuity for the artist and superbly accomplished in pastel, gunpowder, and watercolor, demonstrate a lens that though ‘neither objective nor real’ are unmistakably the vision of the enigmatic Ed Ruscha.
"If I'm influenced by the movies it's from way down underneath, not just on the surface. A lot of my paintings [and drawings] are anonymous backdrops for the drama of words...It's so simple and the backgrounds are of no particular character. They're just meant to support the drama." Ed Ruscha
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