One of portfolio of 6: screenprinted with black currant pie filling, over red salmon roe on white paper, split fount
The six words pictured in this print series (News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews, Dues), Ed Ruscha said, summarize his impressions of England—its alleyways, cathedrals, kitchens, and alehouses. Ruscha worked briefly as a graphic designer in advertising, and his early paintings of billboards, signage, and food labels reveal his growing interest in how the visual qualities of the printed word both convey and multiply meaning. For example, here the Gothic-style typeface might recall medieval English manuscripts or contemporary newspaper headers. But while Ruscha’s work is based on complex semiotic theories, it is also absurd and humorous. Despite their smooth, creamy surfaces, these prints were made using unpalatable concoctions of condiments, axle grease, and various organic materials.
-Jaime Pagana, Curatorial Assistant, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)