Kunsthaus Bregenz presents Reading Ed Ruscha

The Kunsthaus Bregenz presents Reading Ed Ruscha, an exhibition on view 7 July–14 October 2012.

The work of Ed Ruscha (b. 1937), one of the best-known artists of his generation, eludes established categories. Assigned to Pop Art at the start of his career and later on to Conceptual Art, today it is clear that one of the qualities of Ed Ruscha’s work is its never confining itself to one style or medium.

For all its variety of styles and techniques, however, Ed Ruscha’s work also displays certain constants. Among these is his use of writing, whether in print form or painted onto pictures on canvas. It is a red thread that runs through his oeuvre from its earliest beginnings to the present. As far back as the early 1960s he produced his legendary artist books.

With these works alone Ed Ruscha went down in art history and influenced later generations. His works are represented in the most important museums worldwide, and two years ago a major retrospective of his painting toured the museums of North America and Europe.

While that retrospective was devoted exclusively to his painting, the Kunsthaus Bregenz will be presenting not one but an entire range of media including drawing, photogravure, book, film, and acrylic and oil painting. The focus will be on an obvious-enough area which, nevertheless, has never been fully examined to date, namely, the significance of the book and/or the act of “reading” in his work.

Just how productive Ed Ruscha’s engagement with the written word is can be seen from his artist books, all of which are on show in the Bregenz exhibition, as also from the abstract oil and acrylic pictures of the
Cityscapes series. Over a dozen such works in the exhibition document not only the atmospheric density that this combination of visual abstraction and the words supplied in thought can generate, but also a remarkable directness varying from despair and aggression to humor.

There are also new, large-format pictures, likewise produced exclusively for the exhibition, that are being presented to the public for the first time.

Kunsthaus Bregenz
6900 Bregenz

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