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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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