National Gallery of Art, Washington °

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press release

Enigmatic paintings, drawings, and photographic books of gasoline stations, apartment buildings, palm trees, and vacant lots have made Ed Ruscha (born 1937) one of America's most important and influential contemporary artists. The first museum retrospective of Ruscha's drawings highlights his genius for the wry and deadpan juxtaposition of words and objects. Featuring some 90 drawings from the past four decades, the exhibition includes examples made with manufactured as well as organic materials, such as gunpowder and vegetable stains, applied with equally imaginative tools. The words and phrases that are often the subject of the drawings seem extracted from billboard advertisements or movie dialogues. Ruscha's straightforward depiction of common objects has earned him a reputation as a pop artist, yet his interest in and use of language have aligned him with conceptualism.

Organization: This exhibition was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 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.

Schedule: A larger version of this exhibition is on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 24 - September 26, 2004, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, October 17, 2004 - January 17, 2005; National Gallery of Art, February 13 - May 30, 2005


Cotton Puffs, Q-tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha
West Building, Ground Floor, East Outer Tier

16.6.04 - 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