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Criticism of Ruscha Show Missed the Point

December 15, 1990

Though I deeply regret any perception of unethical conduct with respect to Mr. Moore's participation in the (Ed Ruscha) project, I do need to clarify a few significant points.

First, the issue of the exhibition itself resulted quite by accident. When our planned video exhibition that was to accompany the Orange County Festival of Britain failed to materialize, a conversation between Mr. Moore and our gallery director, Patricia Boutelle, produced a thoughtful and feasible alternative, given our calendar. Since the Museum of Contemporary Art is to open a major retrospective of Mr. Ruscha's work (this month), here was an opportunity for the residents of South Orange County to view the work of one of California's most important working artists at more or less the same time.

As an alumnus and friend of Saddleback College, Mr. Moore agreed to help organize the exhibition with the clear and explicit understanding that the work was neither for sale nor was to be represented for sale here or at the Works Gallery. The exhibition, "Ed Ruscha Graphic Works: 1987-1990," was solely intended to educationally benefit the students of Saddleback College and provide our community visual access to work they might not otherwise have had. Because the issue of academic integrity or economic interest was raised in Ms. Curtis' article, I want to assure you that our intention was completely pure and that we will be scrupulous that no such confusion should ever result in the future.

GREGORY J. BISHOP, Dean, Fine Arts and Communications, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo

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