Cotton pffs, q-tips, smoke and mirrors. the Drawings of Ed Ruscha

In a 1976 drawing by Ed Ruscha, the word “Promise”—–spelled out in ribbon-like script—–is suspended at an oblique angle against a delicate gray background and bathed in a gauzy white light. Somehow, this image perfectly sums up the hopeful feeling that success is right around the corner. Ruscha’s ability to give concrete form to the inner life of words and images from popular culture has made him a rare breed of artist—a critic’s darling whose work also fascinates ordinary art lovers. Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha collects more than 200 of Ruscha’s coolly mysterious works on paper in a handsomely designed volume marred only by a hard-to-read gray typeface. The odd title comes from a remark the artist once made. He uses cotton puffs and swabs to rub gunpowder (which creates those smoky grays) or pastel into the rag paper. Author Margit Rowell emphasizes the influence of photography and film on Ruscha’s visual outlook—as well as his training in graphic design and the Los Angeles “landscape” of billboards glimpsed from car windows. Rucha, who is also known for his paintings and his idiosyncratic photo books (depicting serial images of gas stations, parking lots and other banal sights), has been working on paper since the late 1950s. Rowell tracks the various themes and styles of his drawings, while essayist Cornelia Butler adds additional art world context. Although Ruscha has been called a Pop artist and a West Coast Surrealist, Butler sees him as “an essentially Conceptualist artist who seeks to render ideas as information.” She singles out his “deeply eccentric nihilism…filtered through a keen humor.” This book accompanies an exhibition of Ruscha’s work on paper organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (June 24–Sept. 26, 2004). -—Cathy Curtis –This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Text: Rowell Margit. cm 28×28; pp. 260; 204 COL; hardcover. Publisher: Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, 2004.

ISBN: 9783882439656| 3882439653

ID: AM-9086

Product Description

In a 1976 drawing by Ed Ruscha, the word “Promise”—–spelled out in ribbon-like script—–is suspended at an oblique angle against a delicate gray background and bathed in a gauzy white light. Somehow, this image perfectly sums up the hopeful feeling that success is right around the corner. Ruscha’s ability to give concrete form to the inner life of words and images from popular culture has made him a rare breed of artist—a critic’s darling whose work also fascinates ordinary art lovers. Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha collects more than 200 of Ruscha’s coolly mysterious works on paper in a handsomely designed volume marred only by a hard-to-read gray typeface. The odd title comes from a remark the artist once made. He uses cotton puffs and swabs to rub gunpowder (which creates those smoky grays) or pastel into the rag paper. Author Margit Rowell emphasizes the influence of photography and film on Ruscha’s visual outlook—as well as his training in graphic design and the Los Angeles “landscape” of billboards glimpsed from car windows. Rucha, who is also known for his paintings and his idiosyncratic photo books (depicting serial images of gas stations, parking lots and other banal sights), has been working on paper since the late 1950s. Rowell tracks the various themes and styles of his drawings, while essayist Cornelia Butler adds additional art world context. Although Ruscha has been called a Pop artist and a West Coast Surrealist, Butler sees him as “an essentially Conceptualist artist who seeks to render ideas as information.” She singles out his “deeply eccentric nihilism…filtered through a keen humor.” This book accompanies an exhibition of Ruscha’s work on paper organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (June 24–Sept. 26, 2004). -—Cathy Curtis –This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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