Edward Ruscha

Bonnie Clearwater, Editor, Lannan Museum, Author, Christopher Knight, Editor
Bonnie Clearwater, Editor, Lannan Museum, Author, Christopher Knight, Editor ABRAMS $24.95 (145p) ISBN 978-0-8109-2405-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
A catalogue of Ruscha's recent exhibition at the Lannan Museum in Florida, this collection of 100 color illustrations and two essays focuses on the pop artist's murals in the Miami-Dade Public Library. Like the works that founded Ruscha's career in the '60s, the major rotunda library mural consists of paintings of single wordshere in panels that together form a quote from Shakespeare. As if it weren't enough to display this simple, banal painting once, half the book is devoted to repeated depictions of the same words on different backgrounds and to drawings related to the mural. The catalogue's brighter side surveys Ruscha's paintings over the years, which mostly portray icons of American pop culture like the Hollywood sign and corporate logos as well as familiar shapes rendered in black and white. Brief essays by Clearwater, Lannan Museum director, on the mural work, and by Knight, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner art critic, on Ruscha's career, do little to enliven the images or lend them significance. Only students of current art and Ruscha's fans will find this catalogue interesting while others may consider it an insult to the eye. (September)
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