Going to the Museum

I only plan to say this once: My art education has been hit or miss. The gaps in my knowledge are immense, far exceeding the available knowledge. So what to make of a recent exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art “Ed Ruscha Now Then” (on view until January 13, 2024)?

A few facts:

Ruscha is still alive, born in 1937.

First major retrospective in 40 years

Name pronounced Roo-Shay

Lives and works in California.

Book `Ed Ruscha/Now Then’ by Christopher Cherix available at MOMA bookstore

Associated with the pop art movement.

Here are my reactions: The wall commentary puts the art in context of the times.

Ruscha manages to make the architecture of gas stations look interesting.

Unfortunately, the room wall-papered in chocolate coated paper had lost its smell.

Ruscha joins the fraternity of artists who use words in their images to great affect (Basquiat, Twombly, Sillman, Warhol, Johns come to mind)

When I use words in my art, the words just look stupid.

Is it cheating to use a word so the viewer doesn’t have to guess what the artist is trying to present?

My favorite picture (Above) ‘Noise, Pencil, Broken Pencil, Cheap Western’ 1963, oil and wax on canvas, 71” x 67”

The luscious blue (apparently phthalo and cerulean) made me want to wear this color often, so rich, so happy, so deep.

I was fascinated by the organization of the elements. What if the pencils were placed anywhere else? And a comic book! I loved comic books, but they were always too short.

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