Sin Without

  • medium Lithograph printed in yellow-green on wove paper
  • edition 2
  • size 46.00w x 26.75h in
  • created 2002
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COA: This work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from West Chelsea Contemporary
Published By: Akasha, Minneapolis
Printed By: Steven Anderson

Collection Note:

Renowned California artist Ed Ruscha is known for the extensive use of text in his works. Often commenting on American consumerist culture, Ruscha blends text and images to tell complex narratives. The word sin is often featured by the artist as a commentary and examination of our culture’s relationship with mechanization and media. While it is characteristic of the artist to utilize a plain background to allow his text to pop as the main focus of the work, Sin Without features a daunting background of an abyss of large, amorphous clouds in black and white that allow the letters to peek through.

With their stormy portent and theatrical lighting, the works in this series draw visually upon old-fashioned cinematography and also harken back to Ruscha’s Catholic upbringing, the celestial sky evoking the significance of clouds and the landscape of a heavenly realm charged with the promise of eternal redemption. Through this conflation of image and text, the words become subjects in themselves. Ruscha explains, “I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body then coming back and becoming a word again.

This lithograph printed in yellow-green, signed in pencil, dated and inscribed ‘C.T.P. 1/2’, is one of two proofs in this tone and part of a group of 18 color trials aside from the numbered edition of 60.