Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting

Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting


Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha has made pioneering work in the media of painting, printmaking, drawing, bookmaking, photography and film since 1958. Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting is the first monograph to focus exclusively on the paintings of this influential and pioneering American artist.

Transforming words into icons and images into wide-screen epics, Ed Ruscha has wholly reconceived the terms of painting for our era. Tagged variously as a Conceptualist, Pop artist (and the West Coast’s answer to Andy Warhol) or latter-day Surrealist, Ruscha flouts category, or rather incorporates all categories, always surprising and experimenting with both subject and method. His paintings are steeped in our times: cinema, advertising, logos, late capitalism and the twists and turns of post-war art have all informed his iconography since the early 1960s, arriving on the cool surfaces of his canvases with magnetic detachment.

Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting comes housed in a slipcase that sports the artist's classic painting Standard Station (1966). Lavishly illustrated, this comprehensive monograph contains a preface by American novelist James Ellroy and essays by Hayward Gallery's Director Ralph Rugoff, Alexandra Schwartz and Ulrich Wilmes. It also features a text by the Hollywood novelist Bruce Wagner, an interview with the artist by Kristine McKenna, an illustrated chronology and an exhibition history.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting at Hayward Gallery, 14 October 2009–10 January 2010.

Essays by James Ellroy, Ralph Rugoff, Alexandra Schwartz, Bruce Wagner
and Ulrich Wilmes.
Interview with the artist by Kristine McKenna.

Hardback in slipcase
24.5 x 34 cm
192 pages
150 colour illustrations
ISBN 978 1 85332 274 7

Designed by Graphic Thought Facility
Photos by Graphic Thought Facility

James Ellroy is an American crime fiction writer and essayist. His novels include L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia.

Ralph Rugoff is Director of the Hayward Gallery, London.

Alexandra Schwartz is the editor of Leave Any Information at the Signal a collection of Ruscha's writings and interviews. She is a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Bruce Wagner is an American writer, actor, producer and director based in Los Angeles.

Ulrich Wilmes is Senior Curator at Haus der Kunst, Munich.

Kristine McKenna is a Los Angeles-based writer who has written extensively on Wallace Berman and West Coast Beat culture

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