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Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips , Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha

Ruscha, Ed; Margit Rowell; Cornelia Butler

12 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0874271401 / ISBN 13: 9780874271409
Published by Whitney Museum, 2004
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From W. Lamm (Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Gray cloth with white titles to cover and spine. Issued without dustjacket. 204 color plates plus text illustrations. Foreword by Adam D. Weinberg. With essays by Margit Rowell and Cornelia Butler. Published on the occasion of the traveling exhibition that opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in 2004, and went on to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. ; In gift-giving condition. As New. Tight, clean and crisp. No inscriptions. No remainder mark. Not ex-library. In excellent condition. As New. ; r; 11 X 11 X 1 inches; 256 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 24212

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips , Smoke and Mirrors: ...

Publisher: Whitney Museum

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: First Edition; First Printing

About this title

Synopsis:

Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) is among the most popular American artists working today. His evocations of commonplace subjects have earned him a reputation as a Pop artist, while his interest in language and typography has aligned him with Conceptual art. This book, published to accompany Ruscha's first museum retrospective of drawings, showcases his singular vision and his wide range of highly personal mediums and techniques-from pastels and gunpowder to blood, coffee, and tobacco stains.

Ruscha's work includes paintings, photographs, prints, books, and films, but his unique works on paper are perhaps his richest vein. Through his interpretations of cultural icons and vernacular subjects such as the Hollywood sign, trademarks, and gas stations, as well as his renderings of words and phrases in countless stylistic variations, Ruscha proposes a modern landscape based on keen observation and wry humor.

Review:

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

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