Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974-1984
New York, 980 Madison Avenue
“Honey, I Twisted Through More Traffic Today” or “He Enjoys the Co. of Women” are two of many text drawings in Gagosian Gallery’s solo exhibition dedicated Ed Ruscha’s work that he created between 1974 and 1984. Titled after the namesake pastel on paper work, Custom-Built Intrigue brings together historic works the gallery gathered through loans from collectors and institutions. The West Coast artist meticulously drew these drawings for which he utilized pastel, dry pigment, gunpowder and a group of mundane objects such as cotton puffs, Q Tips or even spinach, although their commercial and Pop Art presence gives vibe of mass production.
Relying on often times ambiguous, yet never unhumorous expressions as well as various color spectrums as backdrops, Ruscha merges diverse and intriguing potential of language with diligent paster gestures on paper. “Hollywood films and cinematic perspectives have influenced many of Ruscha’s paintings, but the underlying subject of his work has always been Los Angeles itself. He saw the place for the first time when he was fourteen, on a car trip with his parents, and when he came back in 1956 to go to art school, driving from Oklahoma City with Mason Williams, there were no disappointments,” writes Calvin Tomkins in his 2013 New Yorker article Ed Ruscha’s L.A. about the influence of the Californian city in the artist’s career.
The exhibition runs through June 30th.