New York

Edward Ruscha

Leo Castelli Gallery

Big, handsome and inscrutable, this exhibition of Edward Ruscha's recent work extends his esthetic of blankness, continuing, as Peter Plagens notes, to “illustrate without illustration, to criticize without criticism” (whatever that means). Much has been written about the trenchant ironies of his Oklahoma origins and subsequent residence in Hollywood, and the ways in which the mute, implacable density and porousness of his practice nimbly deflect critical jargon. In his text works from the ’70s, using spinach, egg yolk, blood, or juice as his medium, he subtly and indirectly mocked the pristine, dogmatic tone of Conceptual heroes such as Lawrence Weiner and Joseph Kosuth. His sunny brand of Conceptualism—“Made in U.S.A.” hovering on a ground of Pepto Bismol or his room papered with chocolate in the 1970 Venice Biennale—both embraced and questioned the signifiers of physical substance and

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