May 28–June 30, 2020
There’s a peculiar kind of patois, like Okie jargon. People have a funny way of speaking, almost like using bad English, double negatives like, “I can’t find my keys nowhere.” . . . Yes, they were incorrect, but they had a punch to them.
Gagosian is pleased to present recent paintings by Ed Ruscha online for galleryplatform.la. The works are currently featured in the solo exhibition Drum Skins at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. The museum is currently closed due to the ongoing health crisis, but the show can be explored through a 360° virtual tour.
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 at the Blanton Museum of Art. In these paintings, Ruscha wraps a slangy phrase—each one chock full of double and triple negatives—around the perimeter of a drum skin. The resulting compositions are fresh and evocative, while also harking back to the crisp, colorful text paintings about the idiosyncrasies of West Coast life for which Ruscha is known. Here, however, he looks back to his earlier hometown of Oklahoma City, evoking the Americana of his youth with fondness and wit. The drum skin paintings possess a warm nostalgia that transports the artist’s fine-tuned visual language back to a simpler time and place.
In 1980, Larry Gagosian opened his first gallery in Los Angeles. In the forty years since, the gallery has continued to celebrate the city’s vibrant arts scene. We are thrilled to be among the founding members of galleryplatform.la, and we look forward to broadening our contribution to Los Angeles’s artistic community through this new initiative.
Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Drum Skins, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, January 11–July 12, 2020. Artwork © Ed Ruscha
Ed Ruscha will be presented with the 2019 J. Paul Getty Medal in honor of his work as a painter, draftsman, photographer, and bookmaker. The event will take place at the Getty Center in Los Angeles on September 16, 2019.
Photo: Sten Rosenlund
January 14–18, 2019, 10am–6pm
USC School of Architecture, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
The five-day pop-up screening showcases Premium (1971) and Miracle (1975), two rare films made by Ed Ruscha. Both films, featuring Ruscha’s signature deadpan humor and keen translation of the contemporary American condition, offer an exploration of storytelling and the conventional narrative codes of Hollywood. The event is free and open to the public.
Ed Ruscha, Miracle, 1975 (still) © Ed Ruscha
Friday, June 8, 2018, 6:30–7:30pm
National Gallery, London
Ed Ruscha has shaped the way we see the American landscape over the span of his influential six-decade career. Hear him discuss his upcoming exhibition, Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire, opening at the National Gallery on June 11, with Christopher Riopelle, the museum’s Neil Westreich curator of post-1800 paintings. To attend the event, purchase tickets at www.nationalgallery.org.uk.
Photo: Manfredi Gioacchini
Rudolf Polanszky: Reconstructions
Gagosian director Ealan Wingate describes his first visit to Rudolf Polansky’s studio outside Vienna and discusses the development of the artist’s practice—from his early works informed by the legacy of the Viennese Actionists to the Reconstructions, an ongoing body of assemblage-type wall works and sculptures.
Hans Ulrich Obrist visits the artist at his studio outside Vienna to discover more about the origins of his practice, his experiments in freedom, and the importance of drifting.
Urs Fischer: Lives of Forms
In his introduction to the catalogue for Urs Fischer’s exhibition The Lyrical and the Prosaic, at the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, curator Massimiliano Gioni traces the material and conceptual tensions that reverberate throughout the artist’s paintings, sculptures, installations, and interventions.
Fruit and Vegetables: Francesco Bonami on Urs Fischer
Fruit and vegetables are a recurring motif in Urs Fischer’s visual vocabulary, introducing the dimension of time while elaborating on the art historical tradition of the vanitas. Here, curator Francesco Bonami traces this thread through the artist’s sculptures and paintings of the past two decades.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2020
The Summer 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.
Rainer Maria Rilke: Duino Elegies
Bobbie Sheng explores the symbiotic relationship between the poet and visual artists of his time and tracks the enduring influence of his poetry on artists working today.
Five Books: Urs Fischer
Urs Fischer talks about reading during the pandemic lockdown, sharing five books—both fiction and nonfiction—that he has turned to while in self-isolation.
Mary Weatherford: Train Yards
Mary Weatherford speaks to Laura Hoptman about her new paintings, the Train Yard series. Begun in 2016, this body of work evokes the sights and sounds of railroads and night skies. The series will be shown for the first time in late 2020, in an exhibition at Gagosian, London.
The Bigger Picture
Gagosian’s Sarah Hoover sat down with Allison Freedman Weisberg, founder and executive director of Recess, and Anaïs Duplan, Recess program manager, to discuss the community arts organization’s evolution, recent programs, and dreams for the future.
Uncanny Delights: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray
Catalyzed by the exhibition Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray, Alice Godwin examines the legacy and development of a Surrealist ethos in selected works from three contemporary sculptors.
Theaster Gates: Black Vessel
Join Theaster Gates in his studio as he prepares for his upcoming exhibition at Gagosian, New York, this fall. In this video, shot entirely on location in Chicago during the recent tumultuous weeks, Gates reflects on the metaphorical power of materials and process, and on the redemptive potential of art.
How to Renew the Color of Bricks
Social historian Chris Dingwall reflects on Theaster Gates’s engagement with the history of quotidian materials, focusing on the symbolic qualities and function of his brick-based sculpture.