Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rushing to Ruscha

I knew about Ed Ruscha's photographs and paintings, and his love affair with words, but never realized that the relationship extended to books until I caught his gallery show at Gagosian Gallery this January (through January 12).

Giant paintings of books, complete with marbled endpapers, gilded edges, worm holes...

Photo by Paul Ruscha

Photo by Paul Ruscha

Photo by Paul Ruscha

Also, constructions where paintings are combined with actual books (as object), as well as books that have been painted over, bleached out, and otherwise altered.

It's always interesting to see how artists expand their vocabulary (in this case, literally and figuratively), and it's terrific to see the depth and breadth of Ruscha's exploration and manipulation of the book (and the term "bookworks"!).

1 comment:

Beth Tondreau said...

I've always liked Ruscha—possibly as much for the way he documents/ed life on the road: Gas stations, signs, Every Building on the Sunset Strip—and all sorts of other repeating elements as for his love affair with words. It's amusing to note that a University of California at Irvine site notes that Ruscha's first book became "A pioneering example of a self-published, self-distributed book."

Plus ça change and all that, eh?