Ed Ruscha - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Neal Meltzer Fine Art, New York; The Pamela Anderson Collection; Private collection, USA

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Words somehow assemble pictures in your mind and give you much more than they show. The trick is in the balancing. While there is looseness in Ed Ruscha’s art, it's further focused in your mental drifting. Ruscha's careful drawing isn't loose at all but is tight as tight can be. His oeuvre is filled with words and phrases but these aren't bits of poetry. They're much more like found objects. Words, of course, have meanings, but the viewer is advised not to ponder these too heavily. The words in Ruscha's drawings come to him unbidden, like little visitations. He says these come ‘in flashes,’ or in half-heard conversations, or sometimes in his dreams. ‘I just happen to paint words,’ he says, ‘like someone else paints flowers.’ Certain words appeal to him. Picking one and not another is ‘like choosing a daffodil over a rose.’ Ruscha says: ‘I've always had a deep respect for things that cannot be explained. Explanations seem to me to sort of finish things off.’”
    (P.Richard, Ed Ruscha’s American Highway, Washington Post, 18 February, 2005)
    “At different periods of his career Ruscha has investigated the space between images and words, negotiated paintings between abstraction and representation and, most recently, sought to elide advertising with landscape painting. The resulting work includes some of the most iconic images in post-war American art. That and his growing relevance among artists desperate to tend bridges between cultural phenomena like classic advertisements and the Internet (real life) and the stuffy tradition of fine painting (art) have, with the passage of time, made the 62 year-old Ed Ruscha quite possibly the most influential artist working today.”(C. Viveros Faune, Ceci N’est Pas Une Mountain, http://www.NYPress.com, 30 August, 2000)

  • 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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Watercolour on paper.
53.34 x 58.42 cm. (21 x 23 in).
Signed and dated 'Ed Ruscha 1981' lower right.

£150,000 - 200,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

30 June 2008, 10am & 2pm