Ed Ruscha - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Don Francis, California; James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles; Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles; Spark Gallery, Tokyo; Galerie Vedovi, Brussels; Edward Tyler Nahem, New York; Sprüth Magers Lee, London; Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers, Munich

  • Exhibited

    New York, Edward Tyler Nahem, Ed Ruscha: Selected Works, May 6 - June 30, 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    This work will be included in a forthcoming volume of Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Works on Paper.
    Ed Ruscha has established his formidable career on playful adventures in language. His work bridges graphic design, fine art and lingual experimentation with the sensibility of American folklore recreated through painting and photography. A resident of Los Angeles since 1956, Ruscha’s investigations into the Californian metropolis are also present in his work: text redefines mountains and pools, and assigns an identity to anonymous icons of the American landscape. Similarly, the present lot presents an image of an interior space marked by the slanted shadow of a setting sun, ironically labeled with a word that invokes travel, movement, and open outdoor spaces. To Ruscha, words intrinsically carry personal interpretations as an extension of the viewer’s individual experience.
    "When I began painting, all my paintings were of words which were guttural utterances like Smash, Boss, Eat. Those words were like flowers in a vase; I just happened to paint words like someone else painted flowers. It wasn’t until later that I was interested in combinations of words and making thoughts, sentences, and things like that," (E. Ruscha, Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages, Cambridge, 2002, p. 264).

  • Artist Biography

    Ed Ruscha

    American • 1937

    Ed Ruscha is an Los Angeles-based artist whose art, like California itself, is both geographically rooted and a metaphor for an American state of mind. A deft creator of photography, film, painting, drawing, prints and artist books, Ruscha has executed works for over 60 years that are simultaneously unexpected and familiar, both ironic and sincere.

    His most iconic works are 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 the post-war world.

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Dry pigment on paper.

22 1/2 x 30 in. (56.8 x 76 cm).

Signed and dated “Ed Ruscha 1983” lower right.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $86,500

Contemporary Art Part I

12 Nov 2009
New York