'Stains is a boxed set of single sheets of paper, done in 1969, and it's like a little treasure chest of overlooked things. Stains have always been scorned I guess, and it evolved out of my concepts of painting. I've always painted with a skin on a support, like paint on a canvas. And finally I got sick of doing it, and staining something, letting a wet material sink down into the fabric of the support—in this case paper—was the effort here and was my interest. The idea of using something that stains rather than a paint that sits on the surface of a canvas was my discovery for myself at the time.
So there is everything from wine stains, coffee stains, L.A. tap water that's almost invisible—lots of 'em, lots of stains. I made a little laundry list of things that I think I wanted to see at that time, one was even sulfuric acid which eats a hole in the paper, and everything that I selected seemed to be right at the time.
When I produced this thing, I remember buying a large quantity of this 100% rag content paper, and I got a call from the US government because it is the same kind of paper that would be used in counterfeiting, so I had a short-lived problem there, proving that I was not doing anything nefarious' – Ed Ruscha
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A Graphic Century including French Impressions: Prints from Ambroise Vollard and Henri M. Petiet
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In addition to the catalogue description, each the full sheet, the stains slightly faded (as is common), pale toning and offsetting in places to the sheets, foxing and soft creases in places throughout
Please note this lot is a portfolio consisting of 75 loose stained sheets.
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