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  • Lithograph
    David Kindersley (British, 1915–1995), Letters are Things, 1971. Lithograph on paper. David Kindersley Art Collection, Harry Ransom Center.

Art in Words

Prints from the 20th Century to Today

August 26 – February 25, 2024

What can words communicate visually? Where does reading blur with viewing, changing the ways in which we do both? Art in Words showcases works by artists from the mid-twentieth century to today who have employed text in advancement of their visual arguments.

Featuring collaborations between fine presses and artists, examples of typographic and concrete poetry, and experimentations in pop and surrealism, the exhibition puts prints by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ed Ruscha in conversation with works by Charles Henri Ford, Kristin Calhoun, David McGee, and others. Drawing on recently acquired prints as well as from existing materials in the Ransom Center's permanent collection, Art in Words includes works for which text and image operate in co-equal dialog, and critically considers the possibilities of letters and words to act as visual artistic media.

This exhibition was organized by Dr. Tracy Bonfitto, Curator of Art, and Cristina Meisner, Research Associate.

National Endowment for the Humanities
Any views, findings, recommendations or conclusions expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Austin PBS

The Ransom Center appreciates the generosity of our promotional partners: CultureMap, KUT 90.5 & KUTX 98.9, and Society Texas.