Ed Ruscha - Photographs London Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Patrick Painter Inc., Los Angeles

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Yes there is a certain power to a photograph. The camera has a way of disorientating a person, if it wants to and, for me when it disorients it’s got real value."

    "Ruscha’s relationship to photography is complex and ambivalent, and the work is difficult to define. The photographs’ amateurish quality and snapshot size intrigued his contemporaries.Neither purely documentary nor purely artistic, their subject matter was stereotypical and banal, with motifs drawn mostly from ordinary outdoor sites in Southern California or the western United States. This, along with their presentation as strings of consecutive images, created a mythical road-movie or photo novel effect laced with Beat Generation innuendo."

    (Margit Rowell, Ed Ruscha Photographer, Whitney Museum of American Art and Steidl, 2006, p. 11)

  • 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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Vacant Lots

Four gelatin silver prints, printed 2003.
Each 55.5 x 55.5 cm (21 7/8 x 21 7/8 in)
Each signed, dated and numbered 7/35 in pencil on the reverse of the flush-mount.

£12,000 - 18,000 

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs, London
+ 44 207 318 4092


London 8 May 2013 4pm