Edward Ruscha (American, born Omaha, Nebraska, 1937), That is Right, 1989. Printed by Ed Hamilton (American, born 1941). Published by Edward Ruscha (American, born Omaha, Nebraska, 1937). B.A.T. proof from the portfolio, 9 x 11 inches ( 22.9 x 27.9 cm). John B. Turner Fund, 2007. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007.279b © Edward Ruscha © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Among these impressions from Ruscha's That Is Right portfolio are working proofs that show the artist's handwritten instructions to his longtime collaborator, the master printer Ed Hamilton. In some of the impressions, we see how Ruscha made revisions to the tone and the size of the letters, changes made before the artist authorized the proof, or the B.A.T. (bon à tirer), to be used as the reference for printing the edition. The graphite notations that give us insight into a process of change and revision stand in marked contrast to the titles of the lithographs that imply a fixed and finished work—That Is Right, Precise, and Exact. Throughout his career, Ruscha has made language a subject of his art, decontextualizing the idea of a word to a point where it can be both picture and linguistic unit.
This work is exhibited in the "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Invisible" exhibition, on view through September 4th, 2016. #MetBreuer