Sand in Vaseline

Ed Ruscha


Painting, 91.5 x 101.5 x 1.7 cm.
Materials: egg yolk, satin

Collection: Collection VAM, Eindhoven (Inv. no. 0947).

In 1974, the American artist Ed Ruscha paints with egg yolk the text SAND IN THE VASELINE on an almost square-shaped grey piece of satin. He uses then sans-serif letters filling almost the whole surface of the fabric.

Ruscha becomes famous in the 1970’s mostly for his word-paintings where he experiments with typographical design as well as with materials which are unusual in the art world. He is against the use of paint and therefore looks for other, more organic, materials to paint with.

A remarkable relation comes to life between what is being written and how that is painted. The egg yolk has no direct relation with sand or Vaseline, but they are all tactile substances. Ruscha wants to confront the viewer with something he does not know yet how to deal with, in order to break with the usual way we look at things and to instigate reflection.

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