Ed Ruscha

Metro Plots

January 27–February 27, 1999
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Ed Ruscha, Alvarado to Doheny, 1998 Acrylic on canvas, 70 × 108 inches (177.8 × 274.3 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Alvarado to Doheny, 1998

Acrylic on canvas, 70 × 108 inches (177.8 × 274.3 cm)


Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings in the Metro Plots series by Ed Ruscha. The first works in the series were shown at Gagosian in Beverly Hills earlier this season.

Continuing Ruscha’s fascination with urban landscapes, these new works take simplified street maps of Los Angeles as their point of departure. Recalling the City Lights series (1985–86), which shows the city at night, Ruscha’s new paintings also depict a bird’s-eye view of Los Angeles.

The new works chart the various routes that transverse the city of Los Angeles by rendering schematized 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 Thomas Guide books known to virtually every driver in Los Angeles. The car thus becomes an unseen but implicit subject, just as it was in Ruscha’s 1966 photographic panorama Every Building on the Sunset Strip. The paintings create an unsettling juxtaposition between the calm and simple assurance of the map and the imminent and implied chaos of the city that exists 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.

A painting with gold frame by Louis Michel Eilshemius. Landscape with single figure.

Eilshemius and Me: An Interview with Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha tells Viet-Nu Nguyen and Leta Grzan how he first encountered Louis Michel Eilshemius’s paintings, which of the artist’s aesthetic innovations captured his imagination, and how his own work relates to and differs from that “Neglected Marvel,” Eilshemius.

River Café menu with illustration by Ed Ruscha.

The River Café Cookbook

London’s River Café, a culinary mecca perched on a bend in the River Thames, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2018. To celebrate this milestone and the publication of her cookbook River Café London, cofounder Ruth Rogers sat down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the famed restaurant’s allure.

The cover of the Fall 2019 Gagosian Quarterly magazine. Artwork by Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019

The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.

The artist Ed Ruscha discussing his work.

Ed Ruscha: A Long Way from Oklahoma

In conjunction with his exhibition VERY at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, Ed Ruscha sat down with Kasper Bech Dyg to discuss his work.

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Notre-Dame), 2019.

For Notre-Dame

An exhibition at Gagosian, Paris, is raising funds to aid in the reconstruction of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris following the devastating fire of April 2019. Gagosian directors Serena Cattaneo Adorno and Jean-Olivier Després spoke to Jennifer Knox White about the generous response of artists and others, and what the restoration of this iconic structure means across the world.

Anselm Kiefer, Maginot, 1977–93.

Veil and Vault

An exhibition at the Broad in Los Angeles prompts James Lawrence to examine how artists give shape and meaning to the passage of time, and how the passage of time shapes our evolving accounts of art.