160712: Kunsthaus Bregenz Ed Ruscha – Reading Ed Ruscha

Kunsthaus Bregenz Ed Ruscha – Reading Ed Ruscha 07.07. 12 – 14.10.12 Existential Irony By Wolfgang Ölz The art superstar from the USA, Ed Ruscha, has, with the exhibition "Reading Ed Ruscha", presented a brilliant show of his creations from 1969 to the present. Some of the works presented have never been seen and come directly from the artist's studio to the Kunsthaus Bregenz. The current exhibition has something of a dignified retrospective, in which the artist himself had a significant say. Around 120 works are shown. Director Yilmaz Dziewior said that three years ago, after Ed Ruscha had agreed to hold the exhibition, the latter also determined 95% of the exhibition's works. To this end, he invested in two years of intensive, creative work. A priceless commitment when one thinks that his works hang in all the most important collections in America, Europe and Asia, and even Barack Obama commissioned an Ed Ruscha for the White House. The legendary art books are to be found on the first floor, whereby the Kunsthaus was able to gather all Ed Ruscha's books together. The books themselves are in glass cabinets but the visitor can skim through an iPad, thus accessing the contents. On the wall, 51 large-format framed pages from an art book by Jack Kerouac, "On the Road", can be seen. "Every Building on the sunset strip" shows the entire buildings on the "Sunset Strip" in Los Angeles, the domicile of the now 75-year old artist. Ed Ruscha's art is, above all, influenced by the great American art trends on the 60's and 70's: concept art and pop art. The second floor shows pictures which exhibit horizontal stripes reminiscent of Mark Rothko or Barnett Newman, whereby Ed Ruscha appears to have driven out everything gestural in the stripes. Here, too, are pictures of landscapes onto which empty, horizontal stripes - wide enough to be able to accommodate a quote - have been pasted. In these book titles, which the visitor has to project onto the picture, deep maxims can be articulated, such as, for example, the sentence "Do as told or suffer". Large-format acrylic pictures, on which Ed Ruscha painted books, also catch the eye. The third floor is the so-called "Belle Etage" of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, because it is substantially higher than the other two lower floors. For this final floor, Ed Ruscha created enormous formats depicting opened books. The whole has naturally something of an existential irony, the books are absolutely enormous but completely unusable because of being painted two-dimensionally. The whole tradition, the old story of humanity is presently displayed before our eyes but the present appears to be impossible to read. Kunsthaus Bregenz 6900 Bregenz, Karl Tizian Platz Tel: +43 5574 48 594-0 Fax: +43 5574 48 594-8 email: kub@kunsthaus-bregenz.at http://www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10-18, Thu 10-21 hours

Kunsthaus Bregenz
6900 Bregenz, Karl Tizian Platz
Tel: +43 5574 48 594-0, Fax: +43 5574 48 594-8
Email: kub@kunsthaus-bregenz.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 10-18, Do 10-20 Uhr

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