Ed Ruscha - Contemporary Art Part II New York Friday, May 14, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills

  • Exhibited

    Bonn, Kunst Museum, June 17 - August 16, 1999; Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art, Great Illusions: Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha; October 10 - November 28, 1999 (another example exhibited); Paris, Galerie Daniel Templon, Ed Ruscha: Parking Lots and Swimming Pools, December 13, 2003 - January 21, 2004 (another example exhibited); New York, Yancey Richardson Gallery, Ed Ruscha: Pools, Parking Lots, Gasoline Stations, and Sunset Strip, September 22 - November 5, 2005 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    Kunst Museum Bonn, ed., Great Illusions: Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha, Bonn, 1999, pp. 71-75 (illustrated); S. Engberg and C. Phillpot, Edward Ruscha Editions 1959-1999 Catalogue Raisonné, Minneapolis, 1999, pp. 50-53 (illustrated); S. Wolf, ed., Ed Ruscha and Photography, New York, 2004, pp. 156-157 (details illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Unlike the lush handling of paint and spontaneous assembly of materials by New York artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, West Coast artists made paintings, photographs, and objects in a broad range of styles that asserted their autonomy as individuals forging a new frontier. […] California was an oasis at the edge of the continent. It was a land of dreams where swimming pools, billboards, urban sprawl, and automobiles were the markers of postwar prosperity.” In Ruscha’s bucolic 1968 photographs of swimming pools, “the only hint of human activity in these pictures—in the form of wet footsteps on a diving board—feels at once playful and ominous.”
    With works such as the present lot, Ruscha proves himself as a monumental influence on the emergence of what the art critic William Jenkins called “a new topographic style, which was anthropological rather than critical, scientific rather than artistic. A topographic map renders a three dimensional landscape in two dimensions. It lists elevations and indicates their relief with flat contour lines. It also notes the position of natural and man-made features. Ruscha’s books of California subjects can be seen as a topographic map with many features, each one describing a different experience of the place. Together, they chart a distinctly American landscape, one that casts a dry, analytical eye on the nation in the post war years.” (S. Wolf, “California Topographic”, Ed Ruscha and Photography, 2004, New York, pp. 128, 154 and 169)

  • Artist Biography

    Ed Ruscha

    American • 1937

    Quintessentially American, Ed Ruscha is an L.A.-based artist whose art, like California itself, is both geographically rooted and a metaphor for an American state of mind. Ruscha is a deft creator of photography, film, painting, drawing, prints and artist books, whose works are simultaneously unexpected and familiar, both ironic and sincere.

    His most iconic works are at turns poetic and deadpan, epigrammatic text with nods to advertising copy, juxtaposed with imagery that is either cinematic and sublime or seemingly wry documentary. Whether the subject is his iconic Standard Gas Station or the Hollywood Sign, a parking lot or highway, his works are a distillation of American idealism, echoing the expansive Western landscape and optimism unique to postwar America.

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Property from the Halsey Minor Collection




Color coupler prints in nine parts.

Each 16 x 16 in. (40.6 x 40.6 cm) image size.

Each signed, dated “Ed Ruscha 1968 - 1997” and numbered of 10 on the reverse. This work is an artist’s proof from an edition of 30 plus 10 artist’s proofs.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $116,500

Contemporary Art Part II

14 May 2010
New York