As mentioned almost a year ago, probably my favourite artist is Ed Ruscha. But, until last weeked, I had never seen any in the flesh. I had survived pretty much on They Called Her Styrene by Phaidon and a few web covers. One of the appeals to me of the art was how good it looked in reproduction, how the pont of the artwork came through clearly.

Well maybe I was wrong. Not in liking Ruscha, but in not considering the physical presence of the work. At the ICA there is part two of the Artists Favourites show, where current artists pick their favourite works from the last fifty years. I am not convinced by the show itself (part one had some decent bark bitings and a schematic of Disney’s Matterhorn amongst a lacklustre collection). But they do have a copy of Ed Ruscha’s “Oily”.

The key point is, that Ruscha’s “Oily” is exactly that. Not only is the word painted to look like oil, not particularly clever in itself, but the canvas glistens with its oil paint. The copy above looks rather flat, there are no reflections on the surface. Yet sudden a new dimension of Ruscha was introduced to me. Texture. The exhibition was worth it for that (and showing “La Jetee” looped that Janet Cardiff picked). The catalogue, which I will get on to later, and the flowery reasons people gave for their picks shows that in areas of art appreciation, artists lag behind most of their punters.