Ed Ruscha at Gagosian Gallery
Ruscha's latest exhibit, "Psycho Spaghetti Westerns", initially provoked a negative reaction. The Duchess wanted the mammoth paintings (all sold out, in case you were wondering) to be more powerful than they were. The wordless paintings with their strict diagonal planes produced a sense of dystopia, of loneliness and of alienation, but failed to convince completely. There was a bit of superficiality to them. And beyond the work itself, the Duchess found something spiritually lacking in a show produced seemingly exclusively to coincide with this year's Academy Awards. But hey, that's L.A.
In contemplating the Ruscha "schow", however, the Duchess's strong feelings of dislike have lessened, and quite a bit. She thinks that the earthquake/tsunami apocalypse in Japan has something to do with it. There is a connection to be made between the isolation of Ruscha's inanimate objects set-designed within transient Western landscapes and the documentary images we've seen of the destruction in Japan, with garbage and refuse no longer relegated to bins and garages but now an unintentionally integral part of the view. (There is also a connection to be made between "Psycho" and "WALL-E", but that's another story.)
At the end of the day, though, the Duchess wouldn't buy one of the "Psycho" pieces, even if she could (and she can't). But she may pay them another visit, to see if her thoughts and feelings about them change further, before they depart from Gagosian on April 9, 2011.
Images courtesy Gagosian Gallery and the artist