The inclusion of text within an artwork can jarringly disrupt our attention away from pictorial representations. In its blend of multiple artistic forms, artwork with text provokes its viewers in its ciphers. Notoriously ambiguous, these messages often delightfully juxtapose their accompanying images, as in early 20th century collages, represented in this post by DADA artist Marcel Duchamp. In this form, the artwork seemingly teases its audience in its overt randomness.
However, the use of text in works of art can capture its audience's serious attention in profoundly poetic pieces, as illuminated by Edward Ruscha, whose stark use of blocked letters dominate canvases in their simplicity.
In a modern world filled with advertising catch phrases, the abundance of text-based canvases sinuously complements our everyday interaction with words. However, these canvas' unfinished sentences ultimately challenge our perception of a word's meaning in a new artistic context.