Edward Ruscha. OOF. 1962 (reworked 1963)

Edward Ruscha OOF 1962 (reworked 1963)

  • Not on view

Rarely uttered aloud, the work "oof" belongs to the world of comic strips, not the great literature and art, and particularly not to painting. We expect the emphatic word to appear wrapped in a speech bubble with an exclamation point at the end, but Ruscha has dedicated a large-scale painting to it as if it were worthy of veneration. Of his work from this period Ruscha has said, "I was interested in monosyllabic word sounds that seemed to have a certain comedic value to them." In capital letters, "oof" floats against an empty blue backdrop, suspended somewhere between image and language and between iconicity and absurdity.

Gallery label from 2008
Oil on canvas
71 1/2 x 67" (181.5 x 170.2 cm)
Gift of Agnes Gund, the Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation, Inc., Robert and Meryl Meltzer, Jerry I. Speyer, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, Emily and Jerry Spiegel, an anonymous donor, and purchase
Object number
© 2018 Edward Ruscha
Painting and Sculpture