Ed Ruscha - Editions & Works on Paper New York Thursday, June 27, 2024 | Phillips
  • “[I am] a victim of the horizontal line, and the landscape, which is almost one and the same to me.”
    —Ed Ruscha

    In Pico and Sepulveda, Ed Ruscha invents his own stylized landscape conventions. Mapping is a practical and ordinary way of stylizing a landscape, but with the screenprinted map Pico and Sepulveda, Ruscha has taken additional liberties with mapmaking conventions, using fine speckles to create a hypnotic, landscape that recall the texture of asphalt streets, an element deemed erroneous in typical roadmaps. While many of Ruscha’s landscapes are defined by distinctive and often extreme horizontality, Ruscha pushes the genre’s definition and his own stylistic hallmarks with Pico and Sepulveda: two simple lines intersect to represent Ruscha’s city of Los Angeles.


    The intersection of West Pico Boulevard and South Sepulveda Boulevard – the longest street in L.A. –is located in the Westside suburban neighborhood of Rancho Park. Before Ruscha’s screenprint, the cross streets served as the title to the 1947 song Pico and Sepulveda by Freddie Martin, preformed under the alias of Felix Figueroa – a stage name also derivative from a major north-south Los Angeles street with a checkered past. As the Latin-inspired beat plays, the backing band namedrops various L.A. avenues, many of which are mispronounced by newcomers to the city, while Martin croons about his desire to "feel alive and settle down in my La Brea Tar Pits, where nobody's dreams come true."



    • Provenance

      Sotheby's, New York, Prints & Multiples, May 2, 2015, lot 230
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Literature

      Gemini G.E.L. 1895

    • 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 an Esteemed New York Collector


Pico and Sepulveda (G. 1895)

Screenprint in colors, on Rives BFK paper, the full sheet.
S. 16 x 25 3/4 in. (40.6 x 65.4 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered 7/70 in pencil (there were also 16 artist's proofs), published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles (with their blindstamps and inkstamp on the reverse), framed.

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $6,096

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 27 June 2024