Hey

Ed Ruscha

Rendering the ubiquitous Californian greeting "Hey" was an early preoccupation for Ruscha, and explorations of this word punctuate the artist's output throughout the 1960s. Notable amongst these are Hey with Curled Edge (1964), an ink and graphite work in the collection of MoMA, New York, and the substantial oil painting Hey (1968-1969) in the collection of SFMoMA, to which our current work is related. Hey comes from a period of wild experimentation during which Ruscha considers almost every conceivable way the written word can be depicted. The letters are drawn as if by a finger on a steamed-up mirror, the tracks holding bright droplets of condensation that abstract the letters' forms. The everyday intimacy of the word, with its instant evocations of a thousand different situations, is almost an attempt to draw familiarity itself. It is not possible to read Hey in the exclamatory voice without the presence of an exclamation mark: it is certainly a work of tenderness. Neither does one comparatively consider the onomatopoeiaic performances so forcefully represented in Ruscha's earlier upper-case stars OOF, HONK and SMASH, which had different concerns. Instead, in Hey, one finds a friendly acknowledgement or even a welcome.

Artist
Ed Ruscha (b.1937)
Title
Hey
Medium
Lithograph on calendered Rives BFK paper
Date
1969
Sheet
29.2 x 34.3 cm : 11 1/2 x 13 1/2 in.
Edition
From the edition of 20, signed, dated and numbered by the artist
Publisher
Tamarind Lithography Workshop
Printer
Robert Rogers for Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Los Angeles
Notes
2 colours printed in 2 runs from 1 stone and 1 aluminium plate: 1. Green-grey - stone; 2. White - plate. This impression in pristine condition.
Literature
Engberg 28
Reference
C14-53
Status
Available for sale, please enquire for price

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