Ed Ruscha

VACANT LOTS . 1970/2003


+ SPRÜTH MAGERS BERLIN . patrick painter inc

Since the early 1960s, Ed Ruscha has created an extensive painterly, graphical, and photographic oeuvre. Ruscha first considered working as a graphic artist but soon developed a deep passion for painting and photography. Inspired by the American photography of the 1940s and 1950s, Ruscha developed an independent conceptual approach which is manifested in the sixteen photo-books, created between 1963 and 1978, in which he offered a fresh interpretation of the idea of the artist's book. These small, unpretentious books, which Ruscha always issued in a limited edition, anticipated with their titles in a laconic manner the entire contents of the books, for example Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963); Various Small Fires and Milk (1964); Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965); Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) as well as Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles (1967) or Nine Swimmingpools and a Broken Glass (1968). They show how Ruscha broke away from the traditions of the genre and simultaneously distanced himself from the subjectivist, analytical photo-books of such author-photographers as Robert Frank and Walker Evans. Coming to the fore here, instead of pictorial sequences ordered according to formal and contentual critiera, was a serial arrangement in which the disregard of classical conventions of photography, namely the requirements of perspective and composition, became a characteristic of his photographic aesthetic. Ruscha's pictures map out the redundant appearance of the West Coast civilization of the USA through the monotony and repetitiveness of the series.
SPRÜTH MAGERS BERLIN








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