press release

COTTON PUFFS, Q-TIPS®, SMOKE AND MIRRORS An icon of the Los Angeles art scene, Ed Ruscha’s body of work includes paintings, photography, books, and film, but his drawings are perhaps the richest element of his oeuvre This exhibition is the first retrospective of Ruscha’s drawings, bringing together 250 of his most important works on paper dating from 1959 to the present. His works on paper range from the depiction of vernacular objects, trademarks, gas stations, and apartment houses to renderings of words and phrases in countless stylistic variations. The exhibition is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art by independent curator Margit Rowell and coordinated by Curator Connie Butler. Cotton Puffs, Q-tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art. This project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services by an Act of Congress. Q-tips® is a registered trademark of Chesebrough-Pond’s Inc. The Los Angeles presentation is made possible by The Neuberger Berman Foundation, which is funded by Neuberger Berman, a Lehman Brothers Company. Generous additional support is provided by The Brotman Foundation of California, Audrey M. Irmas, The Jamie and Steve Tisch Foundation, Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg, and Betye Monell Burton.

CHOCOLATE ROOM Ed Ruscha's Chocolate Room made a true sensation when it debuted at the Venice Biennale in 1970. A major new MOCA acquisition and Ruscha's only installation work, Chocolate Room consists of 360 shingle-like sheets of paper silk-screened with chocolate. In the summer of 1970, Ruscha was invited by Henry Hopkins to participate in the 35th Venice Biennale. Hopkins's idea for the American Pavilion was to present a survey of American printmaking, rather than a monographic exhibition, with an on-site workshop for the artists. At the time, Ruscha had just started to work with organic materials in his prints, using everything from baked beans to cherry juice instead of traditional inks. Recreated to accompany Cotton Puffs, Q-tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha, Chocolate Room’s rich velvet-like surfaces and heady aroma create an extraordinary environment that stimulates the senses.


Ed Ruscha
The Drawings of Ed Ruscha

24.6.04 - 26.9.04 Whitney Museum, New York
17.10.04 - 17.1.05 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
13.2.05 - 30.5.05 National Gallery, Washington