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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.

The Artist Spotlight series highlights individual artists, one at a time, over the course of one week. Launched in spring 2020 as a weekly platform, the series is now in its second season and is presented monthly as a regular part of the gallery’s programming. Each presentation features new online content, and artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only. 

Artist Spotlight: Ed Ruscha features five recent works on paper by the artist. A surprise offering by the artist will be revealed on Sunday, September 20. For more information, please contact the gallery at collecting@gagosian.com.

Photo: Kate Simon

Photo: Kate Simon

Related News

Ed Ruscha, CERTAIN FACTS, 2020 © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

In Conversation

Adam McEwen, Bob Monk, and Lisa Turvey on Ed Ruscha

Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 5pm EDT

On the occasion of Artist Spotlight: Ed Ruscha, join artist Adam McEwenGagosian director Bob Monk, and Lisa Turvey, editor of the catalogue raisonné of Ed Ruscha’s works on paper, for an online conversation. The trio will discuss how Ruscha has experimented with the sound, appearance, and sense of language to imbue his works on paper with humor and pathos. To join, register at zoom.us.

Ed Ruscha, CERTAIN FACTS, 2020 © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

Ed Ruscha: Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984 (New York: Gagosian, 2018)

Online Reading

Ed Ruscha
Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984

Ed Ruscha: Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984 is available for online reading from September 16 through October 15 as part of the From the Library series. Published on the occasion of the artist’s 2017 exhibition at Gagosian, 980 Madison Avenue, New York, this catalogue features over seventy-five text drawings by Ruscha, rendered in pastel, dry pigment, and various edible substances. An essay by Lisa Turvey, editor of the Ed Ruscha catalogue raisonné of works on paper, examines the artist’s use of humor in this body of work.

Read Online Now

Ed Ruscha: Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984 (New York: Gagosian, 2018)

Ed Ruscha, EE-NUF!, 2020 © Ed Ruscha

Support

Ed Ruscha
EE-NUF!

Ed Ruscha has created a limited-edition print and an accompanying poster, titled EE-NUF!, to support the People for the American Way’s (PFAW) campaign ENOUGH of Trump. The design features a “fast track” display at how Trump has worked to destroy our democracy. PFAW is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity, and justice for all.

The print and poster are available for purchase at the Gagosian Shop.

Ed Ruscha, EE-NUF!, 2020 © Ed Ruscha

See all News for Ed Ruscha

Museum Exhibitions

Ed Ruscha, I Don’t Hardly Disbelieve It, 2018 © Ed Ruscha

On View

Ed Ruscha
Drum Skins

Through October 4, 2020
Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas
blantonmuseum.org

This show features more than a dozen new works by Ed Ruscha painted on found drum heads. Ruscha sourced the paintings’ visual iconography and language from the American vernacular.

Ed Ruscha, I Don’t Hardly Disbelieve It, 2018 © Ed Ruscha

Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Artist Rooms, Tate Modern, London, July 26, 2019–July 18, 2021. Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo © Tate (Oliver Cowling)

On View

Ed Ruscha
Artist Rooms

Through July 18, 2021
Tate Modern, London
www.tate.org.uk

This display reflects the range of Ed Ruscha’s practice, including paintings, prints, and photographic books, through artworks spanning sixty years of the artist’s career. Full of irony and humor, his works can often be interpreted as commentaries on American society.

Installation view, Ed Ruscha: Artist Rooms, Tate Modern, London, July 26, 2019–July 18, 2021. Artwork © Ed Ruscha. Photo © Tate (Oliver Cowling)

Ed Ruscha, Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk, 1965 © Ed Ruscha

On View

Ed Ruscha

Opened November 1, 2018
The Broad, Los Angeles
www.thebroad.org

An installation of sixteen works by Ed Ruscha is presented at the Broad. The museum is temporarily closed due to the ongoing health crisis. 

Ed Ruscha, Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk, 1965 © Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, Double Standard, 1966–69 © Ed Ruscha

Opening Soon

Ed Ruscha
Travel Log

September 26, 2020–January 3, 2021
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, California
svma.org

This exhibition by Ed Ruscha includes rarely seen black-and-white photographs documenting the artist’s frequent trips from Los Angeles to Oklahoma in the 1960s, which reveal inspirations for his iconic prints and paintings, including images of gas stations, diners, and the streets of rural towns like Gallup, New Mexico, and Winslow, Arizona. Also featured are examples of his well-known word prints, including color lithographs that combine visual formality with playful language.

Ed Ruscha, Double Standard, 1966–69 © Ed Ruscha

See all Museum Exhibitions for Ed Ruscha