Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Ed Ruscha. Although most of the featured photographs were originally used in the creation of Ruscha’s books (1963–78), the artist has printed several new images from his numerous negatives and contact sheets in preparation for this exhibition.
Ed Ruscha began taking photographs while a student at the Chouinard School in Los Angeles in 1959. The artist’s conceptual use of photography in books takes its cue from the livres d’artiste made by such artists as Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall. However, Ruscha’s books mark a significant departure from traditional formats as they are assembled but not composed, clean but not slick, and were meant for broad distribution.
Ed Ruscha’s books document the artist’s surroundings and journeys “on the road” between 1963 and 1978. The first book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, was inspired by a journey along Route 66 between Ruscha’s native Oklahoma and Los Angeles. Primarily visual, the books are composed of series of nondescript photographs that follow seemingly basic and random thematic guidelines such as “gasoline stations,” “apartment buildings,” “swimming pools,” “vinyl records,” “palm trees,” and even “burning small fires.”
These books marked the beginning of Ruscha’s conceptual foray into photographic documentation and book making, which has continued to be an important aspect of his body of work.
“Things Fall Apart”: Ed Ruscha’s Swiped Words
Lisa Turvey examines the range of effects conveyed by the blurred phrases in recent drawings by the artist, detailing the ways these words in motion evoke the experience of the current moment.
Gwen Allen recounts her discovery of cutting-edge artists’ magazines from the 1960s and 1970s and explores the roots and implications of these singular publications.
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 of this “Neglected Marvel.”
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.
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.
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.
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
May 28–June 30, 2020
Gagosian is pleased to present recent paintings by Ed Ruscha online for galleryplatform.la. Fifty 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
Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984
May 6–June 30, 2017
980 Madison Avenue, New York