It's 'Roo-shay' y'all

Once in a while we need that creative fix (which doesn't involve staring at boobs or obsessing over the latest boy/girl crush), even though we probably don't do it as much as we should. Anywayz, last sunday while my partner in crime stayed at home, keepin' the bed warm, I battled through wind and rain to the Hayward Gallery, to catch the last day of Ed Ruscha's (Roo-shay btw) 'Fifty Years of Painting' Exhibition. It covered every phase of his career; from his student works to the recent monumental canvases he's produced. His earliest stuff is really graphic-y and it's kinda hard to believe that he created it half a decade ago, as it still looks pretty current. This could be down to his unwavering personal style, which is apparent in all his work, and throughout the exhibition you see how this has developed over his career.

 His concepts develop and the 'Words as Landscapes' series illustrates the move from single words to phrases within his work. Set against a Technicolor backdrop, these random phrases themselves become the landscape, floating against generic twilight/sunset movie billboard style backdrops. 
   My favourite of all the series' was 'Paintings without Words' in which Ruscha seems to have completely changed his ethic and abandoned all use of text to create some pretty haunting paintings, in which he used some early spray-painting techniques to add the ghostly feel to some recognisably spooky icons. 'Untitled' depicts what appears to be a pirate ship approaching through the fog and although it is simply a silhouette with minimal shading, Ruscha has really captured the feeling of impending doom that the ship may bring. One of Ruscha's most recent forays is his 'Mountain' series in which he has explored the motif in numerous ways, although without drawing from life - his mountains are all invented images and not taken from actual peaks. Ruscha has again begun to bring typography back into these works, often by focusing on one word which becomes more ambiguous the more the viewer looks at it. The canvases also creates a visual prop, as they are often curved outwards on the sides which produces the feeling, for the viewer, that they are bowing under the weight of the mountain. 

So yeah Ed Ruscha is a hero and you should all check him out and get inspired! See even Pervy Girls can be art fags for a day.


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