LISTEN AND READ

Ed Ruscha

Born 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska
Lives and works in Los Angeles

Closely associated with both the pop and conceptual art movements, Ed Ruscha has worked prolifically from the 1960s to the present day. His work across a variety of media including painting, printmaking, drawing, photography and film frequently captures the vernacular of his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, often with a deadpan humour and affectionate interest in the everyday.

Ruscha’s work is held in the collections of many major national and international museums and has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (2021); Oklahoma Contemporary (2021); Secession, Vienna (2018); The National Gallery of Art, London (2018); and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2017). Ruscha is represented by Gagosian Gallery, New York; Los Angeles; London; Geneva; Paris and Rome.

 

Every Building on the Sunset Strip 1966
artist’s book
14.0 x 18.0 cm (unfolded)

Nine Swimming Pools 1968
artist’s book
14.0 x 18.0 cm

Real Estate Opportunities 1970
artist’s book
14.0 x 18.0 cm (unfolded)

Some Los Angeles Apartments 1970
artist’s book
14.0 x 18.0 cm (unfolded)

A few palm trees 1971
artist’s book
14.0 x 18.0 cm (unfolded)

Collection: Curtin University Library, Perth

Between 1963-1978, Ed Ruscha produced sixteen artist books, printed in large editions and widely distributed, featuring deadpan documentary photography, minimal copy and bold, simple titles (such as Nine Swimming Pools, Some Los Angeles Apartments and A few palm trees, included on display here) that hint at an overarching narrative.

Of these, Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) is arguably the best known, with its distinct accordion fold. Measuring over seven metres when unfolded in its entirety, Every Building on the Sunset Strip documents both sides of a continuous mile and half stretch of Sunset Boulevard, and was shot with a camera placed on the back of a pickup truck. Capturing the vernacular architecture of everyday buildings and amenities including drug stores, gas stations, restaurants, apartment blocks and strip malls, Every Building on the Sunset Strip forms an artistic record of a distinct place and time.