Circle of Truth: 49 Paintings Ending with Ed Ruscha is the visual equivalent of the childhood game in which a message is whispered in the ear of a first person, then relayed to a second person, a third, and so on. The original message becomes so mangled by reinterpretation that in its final form the words hardly bear any resemblance to the original.
The domino chain of this exhibition started with a source painting created by Circle of Truth co-curator Shane Guffogg. His work was delivered anonymously, along with a blank canvas, to the second artist in “the Circle.” Each subsequent artist received an identical package: the anonymously created previous artist’s painting, a blank canvas, and the instructions to find and paint their response to the “truth” that they saw in the first painting. This chain was repeated to 49 artists over a period of nine years.
The exhibition provides a compelling insight into the creative process. The vision each artist brings to Circle of Truth shows us just how differently we all see the world. Shane Guffogg’s first painting is a musing on the spatial ratio of the golden mean. This evolved to painting number 49 by Ed Ruscha who muses on an alternative truth with his work titled In.
The visual dialogue conducted by some of our leading contemporary artists could not be more relevant in a time when “fake news” has become the currency of the media. It raises questions of perception, integrity, and authenticity, and the state of ethical values in contemporary society. Perhaps we come away with the idea that “truth” itself is relative. Or perhaps Circle of Truth asks a series of larger questions. What is our responsibility to preserve truth? How does the subtle erosion of our belief in truth affect us? Circle of Truth asks us to join in the conversation and decide for ourselves where we stand.
Circle of Truth: 49 Paintings Ending with Ed Ruscha is curated by Laura Hipke and Shane Guffogg. The traveling exhibition is organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California.
Plan Your Visit
On View: June 4, 2021 – September 19, 2021
Gallery: Beverlee and Bill Lehr Gallery
Alison Van Pelt
Michael Andrew Rosenfeld
Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez
Billy Al Bengston
Join Our Circle Of Friends!
Spring-Summer 2021 at SAM: No gala. No spring appeal. Just this opportunity to be part of our Circle of Friends wall and video during the Circle of Truth exhibition. Help us celebrate those who support the arts and art education!
Deadline: Friday, May 21, 2021, 5Pm
Adopt more than one painting to honor family members or a favorite nonprofit. Recruit friends to adopt a painting together.
Thank you to Gold Level Sponsor Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter, III Family Foundation, Silver Level Sponsor Jack and Carol Scott, and Bronze Level Sponsor Boyer & Ritter for their generous support of Circle of Truth.