Ed Ruscha, Photographer

Ed Ruscha, Photographer


Edited by Margit Rowell, Edited by Adam D. Weinberg

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  • Publisher: Steidl Verlag
  • Format: Hardback | 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 208mm x 267mm x 20mm | 885g
  • Publication date: 12 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Gottingen
  • ISBN 10: 3865212069
  • ISBN 13: 9783865212061
  • Edition: 13002
  • Edition statement: 2., Aufl.
  • Illustrations note: 140 colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 232,594

Product description

Ed Ruscha's relationship to photography is complex and ambivalent. The world-class painter--and author of a 1972 "New York Times" article called "'I'm Not Really a Photographer'"--has been known to refer to his work in this second medium as a "hobby," despite considerable, persistent critical interest. Whether he likes it or not, the small albums of plainly-shot, snapshot-sized images he produced in the 1960s and 70s, including "Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, " intrigued his contemporaries and earned him an unshakable reputation. How? His subject matter was neither purely documentary nor solely artistic, in fact it was stereotypical and banal, with motifs drawn from the car-dominated western landscape. That rebellious material, along with his serial presentation, made for a mythical road-movie or photo-novel effect with Beat Generation overtones. The combination attracted artists and critics both, especially while serial logic was prominent in Pop art and Minimalism, and then retained that interest later as serial work became prominent in Conceptual art. Critics have remained attentive for decades, and Ruscha's influence remains apparent in new work in Europe and North America. "Ed Ruscha, Photographer" departs from earlier collections to explore how these images--and all of Ruscha's work in disciplines including painting, drawing, printmaking and photography--are guided and shaped by a single vision.

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Author information

Margit Rowell is an art historian, critic and museum curator working mostly in Paris and New York. Working independently today, her earlier long-term affiliations were with the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she organized exhibitions of classical modern and contemporary artists (among them Joan Miró, Constantin Brancusi, Sigmar Polke, and Luciano Fabro). In 2004, she organized a major exhibition of the drawings of Ed Ruscha for the Whitney Museum of American Art, which traveled to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and inspired the present study of Ed Ruscha's photographs.