Friday, 21 March 2008

Ed Ruscha at the Gagosian and Art Institute of Chicago

Ed Ruscha's latest paintings were on show at the Gagosian in King's Cross. Andrew and I went along to take a look.

Two weeks later, seemingly on a mission to chase Ed's work around the globe, I saw his retrospective in the Art Institute of Chicago. It was a great show - nearly all his books were there, hanging on wires from the wall, the pages fanning and grey with repeated fingering. A school group was pouring over them, moving from one publication to the next, completely unable to tear themselves away to move on to the rooms of photography or painting. They reveled in the laconic weirdness of the work:

Boy 1: Is there a story?
Boy 2: [Whispers in ear]
Boy 1: Seriously? … In that book-thingy?
Boy 3: [Mumbles] …salad and vinegar…. [Mumbles]
Boy 2: Oil! …Poured all over her body!
Boy 1: Seriously? That’s a little creepy.
Boy 2: Then he kissed her hand.
Boy 1: There's one with cakes too.
Boy 3: Okay, let’s go sit on the bench.
Boy 2: There was a bench?

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