Since the mid-1960s, Ed Ruscha has developed an iconic body of works, simultaneously as a painter, a photographer (with such historical books as “Twentysix Gasoline Stations,” 1963), a filmmaker, and an acute commentator on American culture. Born in 1937 and based in Los Angeles, Ruscha is a central figure of the last few decades and one of the first artists to have introduced a critique of popular culture and an examination of language into the visual arts.
Conceived as a reader to Ruscha’s practice, this publication brings together original contributions and case studies by an international array of renowned art critics and writers including Robert Dean, Lisa Turvey, Cécile Whiting, Jean-Pierre Criqui, Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, Benoît Buquet, Briony Fer, Linda Norden, Michel Gauthier, Elizabeth A. Kessler, Margit Rowell, and John Tain. Among the specific areas discussed and developed in this book are Ruscha’s early drawings, his relationship to literature and the Picture Generation, and the legacy of his artist’s book practice. Figures close to the artist propose their own subjective readings of his work as a way to renew our understanding of it. The volume includes a previously unpublished text by the artist and two portfolios of rarely seen works.