More than Words: Text Based Artworks

March 5 – April 25, 2015

Featuring artwork by: Andres Ferrandis, Ethel Shipton, Ricky Armendariz, Jesse Amado, Chuck Ramirez, Julie Speed, Nate Cassie, Alejandro Diaz, Marifer Barrero

From snippets of newsprint in works by Picasso, Braque and Gris to Robert Indiana’s and Jasper Johns’ embrace of signage and type fonts as sources of their signature gestures, text-based art was a recurring hallmark of modern art, and a fleet vehicle to ride the passage into Pop art and beyond. Often a transgressor, a not-a-brush-stroke, text can jostle our composure when its presence demands we read the visual composition of a painting or sculpture and read bits of language simultaneously. Used deftly, it can disrupt our passive consumption of media–digital and analog. Or, it can heal the rift between the seemingly eternal, and other, world outside us and our fretful experience of our short, linear lifespan. Born through the conjunction of matter and sound, text is the visual body of language; letters in their many fonts or script, the variegated hair and skin of that body. The nine artists in More than Words: Text-Based Artworks make text works that run the gamut from subversive social comment to rapturous meditation. Each will give you an unexpected occasion to pause.

Art Talk: “The History of Text in Visual Art” with Ruben Cordova, Ph.D.