The Drawn Word (December 7, 2003 – February 1, 2004) collects Ed Ruscha’s work on paper, from his gunpowder drawings of the 1960s and 1970s through his more recent work from the 1990s. Ruscha’s treatment of language, of signs and words, has been extremely influential over the last 40 years. His delicate use of a variety of media, from gunpowder to pastel, makes his work on paper some of his most important. In them, he comments on our relationships with certain words, employing their visual impact, sound, and meaning, bringing all of these elements together via humor, among other tools. The work is distinctly American in its references to evocative places, like Hollywood, and in its bold, often monosyllabic style of communication. Appropriately, the design of The Drawn Word evidences a conceptual relationship to the work, incorporating layout grids in reference to Ruscha’s interest in commercial design, and phonetic translations of each of Ruscha’s words to emphasize the importance of sound in their choosing.
This exhibition catalog includes an essay by Olivier Berggruen and foreword by Alannah Weston.
ISBN 0-9746116-0-3, softback, 96 pages, 11 x 11.5 inches, published by Windsor Press.