ED RUSCHA | Nerve with Corn



Nerve with Corn
signed and dated 1982
pastel on paper
23 by 29 in. 58.4 by 73.7 cm.

Price Available Upon Request

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Jacobson-Hochman Gallery, New York
Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles and Mark Kelman, New York
Robert Miller Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York
Linda Hyman Fine Arts, New York
DC Moore Gallery, New York
Love Fine Art, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Los Angeles, Cirrus Gallery, Edward Ruscha: Drawings Through the Years, December 1987 - January 1988

Lisa Turvey, ed., Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Works on Paper, Volume Two: 1977-1997, New Haven, 2018, cat. no. D1982.13, p. 135, illustrated in color

"Words collect in the pictures. Single words or combinations of words […] are placed deliberately and usually symmetrically […] They have an existence that is just as much a matter of space as anything else in them. They often lurch between the very prosaic and ordinary and the immense and mystical. They can transfix you, held there precariously at the center” - Briony Fer, “Moth-Man: Ruscha’s Light and Dark”, in R. Dean and L. Turvey, Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume Four: 1988-1992, New York, 2009, pp. 9-10

Emerging from an atmospheric gradient of sunset blush, Ed Ruscha’s trademark text and post-Pop renderings of food are emblematic of the most celebrated features of his oeuvre. In Nerve with Corn from 1982, Ruscha brings together the floating consumer goods that populated his work of the late 1960s with text, alluding ambiguity through an expert juxtaposition of “nerve”: does it denote defiant courage or anxiety? Rendering prose almost tangible, “nerve” emphasizes the oft-ignored sensory dimension of language that has so enraptured Ruscha from the very beginning of his practice. The transfixing allure of “nerve” transcends an unknown narrative of the word, and to the viewer, a challenge in understanding the dualities in its literal meaning. Both surreal in its aesthetic references and highly accomplished conceptually, the artist has described his mindset in creating compositions such as the present work as: “a constant shifting of material: taking it out of context and putting it back in context; glorifying it in one way, and putting it in the background in another way” (the artist in: Paul Karlstrom, “Interview with Ed Ruscha in His Western Avenue, Hollywood Studio,” California Oral History Project, 1980-1981). Something profoundly poetic is found in this deadpan approach to the contemporary visual; a linguistic play on paintings, and an animation to the vernacular contemporary culture at large. A unique picture that possesses a resounding power, Nerve with Corn poetically commands a sensory and intellectual response, that of which is so embedded in and is a hallmark of Ruscha’s best work.

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