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art ltd letters review

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is proud to present an expansive group exhibition entitled Letters from Los Angeles: Part II – Identity & Self Identity Through Text in Art, which includes more than 70 works by 40 contemporary L.A. based artists who incorporate elements of words and letters in their work. An opening reception for the exhibition, which runs through April 30th, will take place at the gallery from 5PM to 8PM on Saturday, March 16th.

The artists included in Letters from Los Angeles: Part II – Identity & Self Identity Through Text in Art are Lita Albuquerque, Bill Barminski, Wallace Berman, Hans Burkhardt, Huguette Caland, Greg Colson, Doug Edge, Mark X Farina, Jud Fine, Alexandra Grant, Eve Fowler, Scott Grieger, Mark Steven Greenfield, Raul Guerrero, Lynn Hanson, George Herms, Iva Hladis, Dennis Hopper, Corita Kent, Ed Kienholz, Charles LaBelle, Mark Licari, Michael C. McMillen, Jim Morphesis, Ed Moses, Bruce Nauman, Stas Orlovski, Paulin Paris, David Allan Peters, Raymond Pettibon, Ken Price, Bruce Richards, Ed Ruscha, Allen Ruppersberg, Richard Shelton, Alexis Smith, Masami Teraoka, J. Michael Walker, and Tom Wudl.

The exhibition is a re-envisioning of the specially-commissioned ‘museum’ show curated by Jack Rutberg which served as the centerpiece for the 2013 LA Art Show. That Letters from Los Angeles exhibition, with more than 100 works, garnered enormous attention and attendance, receiving critical accolades for the unique perspective it brought to the subject of L.A.’s international identity and selfidentity. The exhibition’s broad range of works from Southern California artists illustrates how text has insinuated itself into the most disparate expressions of L.A. artists and how letters and numerals populate their sense of place.

The contemporary artists featured in this Letters from Los Angeles exhibition have used text in extraordinarily diverse ways: immortalizing L.A.’s signs, streets and gas stations, using comic book captions to convey dramatic angst, juxtaposing text with appropriated images, framing collages with wry observations and titles, employing the power of language to pose disquieting comments in works; surrealist re-configuring of old prints and clippings with snatches of verse and prose often dealing with anti-war, racial and gender issues. The range of approaches is as individual as the artists themselves. The vast and diverse ways Southern California artists incorporate words, numerals and text into their compositions reflects an aesthetic that might be seen as a logical antecedent to the current spotlight on contemporary graffiti and tattoo art.

—Megan Koester

See the original story published in Fabrik, March 2013