Edward Ruscha, American, b. 1937. American Pacific Coast Highway/ Sunset Boulevard from the Petroplots Suite, 2001. Mixografia print on handmade paper. 711 x 991 mm (28 x 39 in.) Gift of the artist. 2003.85.1.3
Mapping the Contemporary Print: Selections from the Anderson Collection
As electronic networks have grown to bridge ever-greater distances at increasing speeds, artists have shown an unflinching interest in mapping their worlds—both physical and metaphysical. Drawn primarily from the Anderson Graphic Arts Collection at the Fine Arts Museums, this exhibition surveys some of the strategies that printmakers have employed in their representations of space and place over the last 45 years.
The most familiar mode of depicting space in Western culture—linear perspective—is just one of many available strategies. Alternative approaches include the conceptual linear formations of Julie Mehretu and the manipulated geographies of Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, and Wayne Thiebaud. Ed Ruscha takes mapping a step further, incorporating the physicality of the Mixografia technique to describe topographical variations in the area surrounding Los Angeles.
Mediating landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes, the works in this exhibition challenge viewers to consider alternative modes of seeing and understanding spaces that are themselves subject to continual reformation. By blurring abstract, undefined spaces with definitive places, Mapping the Contemporary Print demonstrates how artists best represent the world they experience.