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Extended through September 27, 2014

Ed Ruscha

Prints and Photographs

May 8–September 27, 2014
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation video

Installation video

Installation view Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Ed Ruscha, That Was Then This Is Now, 2014 Lithograph, 35 ½ × 46 inches (87.5 × 116.8 cm), edition of 75© Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, That Was Then This Is Now, 2014

Lithograph, 35 ½ × 46 inches (87.5 × 116.8 cm), edition of 75
© Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, Periods, 2013 Lithograph, 28 ¾ × 28 inches (73 × 71.1 cm), edition of 60© Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, Periods, 2013

Lithograph, 28 ¾ × 28 inches (73 × 71.1 cm), edition of 60
© Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, Cold Beer Beautiful Girls, 2009 3-color lithograph, 40 ½ × 30 ½ inches (102.9 × 77.5 cm), edition of 60© Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, Cold Beer Beautiful Girls, 2009

3-color lithograph, 40 ½ × 30 ½ inches (102.9 × 77.5 cm), edition of 60
© Ed Ruscha

About

This exhibition, organized by Gagosian director Bob Monk, surveys Ruscha’s prints of the past forty years, together with rarely seen photographs produced since 1959.

Ranging freely and dexterously across traditional, unconventional, and sometimes even comestible materials, Ruscha’s prints are a fluid forum for the spirited investigation of what a limited-edition artwork can be. His absorption and rethinking of the requirements of each graphic procedure and format result in step-by-step transformations, in a process that echoes the eternal return of the subjects that make up his broader oeuvre. Ruscha arrived in Los Angeles in 1956 to study commercial art at the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), and underwent a six-month apprenticeship with a printer beginning in 1958. Attracted to the reproducibility, collaborative processes, and happy accidents specific to printmaking, he began to create a wealth of lithographic editions, infusing the Pop and Conceptual sensibilities of the time with vernacular wit and melancholy. His exquisitely refined prints engage a breadth of formal themes, from text and typography to still life and quotidian architecture, played out in a spirit of rigorous yet restless experimentation.

The quartet of gas stations Standard Station, Mocha Standard, Cheese Mold Standard with Olive, and Double Standard (1966–69) merge Euclidean space with Renaissance perspective and wordplay, while depictions of the Hollywood sign and its surrounding hills convey an attitude to the region’s landscape, at once scientific and romantic, natural and artificial. In Hollywood in the Rain (1969), the monumental sign forms part of a linear landscape in the style of early topographic illustrations, while the lithographic series Landmark Decay and Further Landmark Decay (2006) depict the letters in various stages of collapse. “‘Hollywood’ is like a verb to me,” Ruscha once said. “It’s something you can do to any subject or any thing.” Parallel to his output of paintings and drawings, Ruscha’s prints of the past four decades are random yet refined expressions of this unrestricted approach.

In the portfolio of screenprints News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews, Dues (1970), produced at Editions Alecto, London, rhyming words appear in Gothic typeface, printed in edible substances such as pie fillings, bolognese sauce, caviar, and chocolate syrup. Each word alludes to Ruscha’s impressions of England: News symbolizes “a tabloid-minded country,” while Stews—made from baked beans, strawberries, chutney, and other foodstuffs—sums up British cooking.

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From the Quarterly