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Ed Ruscha

Metro Plots

November 20, 1998–January 16, 1999
Beverly Hills

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Works Exhibited

Ed Ruscha, Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, Vine, 1998 Acrylic on canvas, 70 × 138 inches (177.8 × 350.5 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, Vine, 1998

Acrylic on canvas, 70 × 138 inches (177.8 × 350.5 cm)

About

Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings by Ed Ruscha. Internationally renowned as the quintessential Los Angeles artist, Ruscha recently completed a mural-size painting for the new Getty Center. Gagosian represents the artist exclusively and this exhibition will be his first in his hometown since 1985.

Continuing Ruscha’s fascination with urban landscapes, these new works depict simplified street maps of Los Angeles and are reminiscent of his City Lights paintings (1985–86), which show the city from above at night, as though from an airplane window.

In Ruscha’s new paintings, the city is again seen from above, but now in the form of street maps and blow-ups of its neighborhood sections. With a small curving line to represent a boulevard, set against a blankness that represents the city, the printed names of Los Angeles streets become particularly resonant and suggestive.

These street map paintings bring to mind the famous Thomas Guide books known to virtually every driver in Los Angeles. The car thus becomes an unseen but referenced subject, just as it was in Ruscha’s famous 1966 photographic panorama, Every Building on the Sunset Strip. The paintings also strike a particularly zany balance between the calm and simple assurance of the map, and the chaotic and bewildering city lying somewhere beyond the printed page or, in this case, beyond the painted picture.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available, with an essay by Dave Hickey, an early commentator on Ruscha’s work. Hickey is also the author of a recent and acclaimed collection of essays entitled Air Guitar, and was the 1994 recipient of the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism.

News

Photo: Kate Simon

Artist Spotlight

Ed Ruscha

September 16–22, 2020

At the start of his artistic career, Ed Ruscha called himself an “abstract artist . . . who deals with subject matter.” Abandoning academic connotations that came to be associated with Abstract Expressionism, he looked instead to tropes of advertising and brought words—as form, symbol, and material—to the forefront of painting. Working in diverse media with humor and wit, he oscillates between sign and substance, locating the sublime in landscapes both natural and artificial. Ruscha’s formal experimentations and clever use of the American vernacular have evolved in form and meaning as technology alters the essence of human communication.

Photo: Kate Simon

Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Drum Skins, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, January 11–October 4, 2020. Artwork © Ed Ruscha

galleryplatform.la

Ed Ruscha
Drum Skins

May 28–June 30, 2020

Gagosian is pleased to present recent paintings by Ed Ruscha online for galleryplatform.laFifty years ago, Ruscha purchased a set of vellum drum skins from a leather shop in Los Angeles. He has continued to collect these vintage objects, and since 2011 he has used them as canvases for the works on view in his solo exhibition Drum Skins at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. 

Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Drum Skins, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, January 11–October 4, 2020. Artwork © Ed Ruscha