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Ed Ruscha
Drum Skins

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.
—Ed Ruscha

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.

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Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Drum Skins, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, January 11–July 12, 2020. Artwork © Ed Ruscha

Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Drum Skins, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, January 11–July 12, 2020. Artwork © Ed Ruscha

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Photo: Sten Rosenlund

Ed Ruscha, Miracle, 1975 (still) © Ed Ruscha

Screening

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Films

January 14–18, 2019, 10am–6pm
USC School of Architecture, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
arch.usc.edu

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

Photo: Manfredi Gioacchini

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Christopher Riopelle

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National Gallery, London
www.nationalgallery.org.uk

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.

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