Ed Ruscha - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

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

  • Exhibited

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

  • Catalogue Essay

    Edward Ruscha's adventures in language have settled him as a contemporary artist worthy of establishing a clear platform between graphic design, fine art and lingual experimentation. His sensibility to American folklore has been re-created through painting and photography as well as investigations into the nature of the English language. A resident of Los Angeles since 1956, Ruscha's investigations into the urban Californian metropolis have also come up frequently within his work. Words, pools, mountains, text; painting, photographs and books, all mediums through which Ed Ruscha graces us with a glimpse into the heart of play through a careful elaboration of words and images composed in a signature style. To Ruscha these words have a greater potential than images to relay beauty; this potential comes from the intrinsic fact that each word carries a personal interpretation 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 paints flowers. It wasn't until later that I was interested in combinations of words and making thoughts, sentences, and things like that." (E. Ruscha in 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.
56.8 x 76 cm. (22.4 x 29.9 in).
Signed and dated ‘Ed Ruscha 1983’ lower right.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2008, 5pm