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Ed Ruscha

Paintings

February 5–March 20, 2008
Britannia Street, London

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings Installation view

Ed Ruscha: Paintings

Installation view

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Works Exhibited

Ed Ruscha, Higher Standards, Lower Prices, 2007 Acrylic on canvas, Diptych: 48 × 220 inches overall (122 × 558.8 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Higher Standards, Lower Prices, 2007

Acrylic on canvas, Diptych: 48 × 220 inches overall (122 × 558.8 cm)

Ed Ruscha, The Nineties/The 2000's, 1980/2007 Oil and acrylic on canvas, Diptych: 20 × 159 inches each (51 × 404 cm)

Ed Ruscha, The Nineties/The 2000's, 1980/2007

Oil and acrylic on canvas, Diptych: 20 × 159 inches each (51 × 404 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Plank/Plank in Decline, 1979/2007 Oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 × 159 inches each (51 × 404 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Plank/Plank in Decline, 1979/2007

Oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 × 159 inches each (51 × 404 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Azteca/Azteca in Decline, 2007 Acrylic on canvas, 48 × 330 inches each (122 × 838 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Azteca/Azteca in Decline, 2007

Acrylic on canvas, 48 × 330 inches each (122 × 838 cm)

About

You take one painting as a kind of question and then the answer to that would be, they’re look-alikes. They begin to look like one another and they do not look like one another, because they have to, or they’re not going to be a proper answer. And then, when you look at them, they’re no longer interpreted in a philosophical sense—or an apocalyptical sense. If you give the viewer something to compare, you don’t have to interpret.
—Ed Ruscha

Gagosian is pleased to present five pairs of paintings by Ed Ruscha.

From Course of Empire—the exhibition for the United States Pavilion at the 51st Biennale di Venezia (2005), which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York—to photographic books such as Then and Now (2005), Ruscha has structured certain bodies of work as comparative studies. Revisiting sites, buildings, and views of Los Angeles that had formed the bases for previous works, he documented the effects of time in a manner that was both empirical and metaphorically charged. Ruscha describes this process as one of “waste and retrieval.” Continuing in this vein of investigation, in the current exhibition he pairs one painting with another version of the same subject to create finely nuanced exercises in perception and memory.

Similar in subject and form, each pair of related works reveals through close observation differences both subtle and dramatic. The effects of the passing of time or of visible decay, movement, and corrosion are at the core of these paintings, which reflect on how things are transformed by nature or culture, from a plank of wood that has decomposed over time to a picturesque view of a mountain range that has been disrupted by the construction of a building.

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Alexander Calder poster for McGovern, 1972, lithograph

The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters

Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.

Ed Ruscha, At That, 2020, dry pigment and acrylic on paper.

“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.

Andy Warhol cover design for the magazine Aspen 1, no. 3.

Artists’ Magazines

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.

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 of this “Neglected Marvel.”

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.

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