Must see: Ed Ruscha: I'm Amazed, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London W1
Graphic works from a modern master reveal a poetic bent
Friday 18 January 2013
Where does Ed Ruscha fit in to the post-war US art scene? He is too fresh and too odd to be easily categorised.
In this spasmodic survey of his graphic art covers from the late 1960s to the early 1990s we see again many of the images we have seen as paintings – HOLLYWOOD, writ high in letters along the line of the hills; the Standard gas station, whose clean lines stretch away to infinity.
Yes, Ruscha is fond of re-working his images, squeezing them out for what else they might yield. Prints can distil images; they can boil them down to more essential versions of themselves.
This show is, for the most part, about playing with words, about exploring how words work on us as images: sometimes they seem to float free of their meanings, at others what they mean feeds into how Ruscha has chosen to present them to us. A
nd what we discover is that it would be just as easy to pigeon-hole Ruscha as a concrete poet as to align him with movements in art.
(020 7734 3431; jacobsongallery.com) to 15 Feb
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