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Ed Ruscha: Then & Now [Hardcover]

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Item description for Ed Ruscha: Then & Now by Ed Ruscha...

Between 1963 and 1978 Ed Ruscha produced eighteen small artists' books. Usually self-published in small print-runs, these publications have become seminal works in the history of conceptual art and the photography book. THEN & NOW is the first artist book that Ruscha has made since 1978. One of the most famous of Ruscha's books from that early period is Every Building on the Sunset Strip--a famous stretch of real estate along Sunset Boulevard--published in 1966. In July, 1973 he followed the same procedure when he photographed on Hollywood Boulevard. Loading a continuous strip of 30 feet of Ilford FP-4 black & white film into his Nikon F2 and then mounting it on a tripod in the bed of a pickup truck, he drove back and forth across the 12 miles of street shooting both the north and south sides of its entire length. The negatives were developed, contact sheets were made, and the materials placed in storage. Thirty years later, in 2003, a digital record of Hollywood Boulevard was created and it served as a reference guide for the traditional film/still documentary of 2004. For this shoot, the same type of camera equipment was used to re-photograph the street on 35mm color-negative film. The resulting material of both shoots--4,500 black & white and 13,000 color images--have been scanned and digitally composed into four panoramics of the complete 12 miles. In THEN & NOW the original 1973 North side view is shown along the top of the page and juxtaposed with its 2004 version. The panoramics face each other and they are aligned. The result is what Ruscha refers to as "a piece of history . . . A very democratic, unemotional look at the world." Whilst it is a significant historical document which succinctly conflates and renders the passage of time, it is also a project which spans the career of one of the truly original artists of our time and brings his work full circle.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   148
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 12.5" Height: 17.25"
Weight:   6.68 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 15, 2005
Publisher   Steidl
ISBN  3865211054  
ISBN13  9783865211057  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ed Ruscha

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ed Ruscha was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1937 and grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from 1941 to 1956. He moved to Los Angeles, California and attended Chouinard Art Institute from 1956 to 1960. His work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in major museums and private collections throughout the world. In 2001, Ruscha was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Letters as a member of the Department of Art. He was chosen by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Ed Ruscha currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California. Ed Ruscha was born in 1937.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Architectural
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photo Essays
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Travel > United States > West
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > General
7Books > Subjects > Travel > United States > States > California > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Ed Ruscha: Then & Now?

Forerunning Hollywood Boulevard  Dec 21, 2007
Thirty years after his seminal 1973 book, Ed Ruscha drives again along Hollywood Boulevard taking pictures of every detail of both sides of the street: contemporary colour pictures matched with the early black and white originals. The book is an extraordinary re-documentation of the street, revealing social and architectural changes. But most of all it is a convincing proof of the vitality of the conceptual basis of Ruscha's work, that looks amazingly contemporary, even three decades later.
By using the photographic medium in a detached, non-passionate way (this time he did not even take the pictures, therefore disappearing as the "author"), by structuring his systematic work as if it were a catalog or a technical atlas on how mankind settled its territory, he reminds us how prophetic his early work was, anticipating issues that would have been the basis for most of the forthcoming artistic reasearch, not only in photography.
Cruisin'  Jul 22, 2007
I bought this from this site UK at an amazing low price (perhaps they thought it might eventually be a stockroom dust-catcher) and it turns out to be a wonderful piece of Americana though I'm not quite sure you could call it Art, maybe art.

This is a large book with 148 (unnumbered) pages which open up to thirty-five inches wide with the two versions of Hollywood Boulevard running across the top of the page and the opposite side running along the bottom upside down, sort of awkward if you want to see both sides of the Boulevard at the same time.

The printing (and paper) of the panoramas is excellent. Rarely have I seen images printed in 250dpi, it is so good that you can read all kinds of commercial signage along the way. Regular strollers in the area could possible recognize themselves if they were there on June 5, 2004. As expected there have been plenty of changes between 1973 and 2004. Many of the empty spaces in '73 now have buildings but it does work the other way round, greenery has replaced some buildings by 2004.

Because the book has no text, apart from title and credit pages I often wondered why Ruscha wanted to photograph twelve miles of Hollywood Boulevard. It is unfortunate that for about half the book there is not too much to look at. From the start at Sunset Plaza there are just garden walls, vegetation and a glimpse of houses set back from the street. It's not until you get to Laurel Canyon where apartments start to appear and then the visually interesting commercialism starts around La Brea Avenue. The rest of the route, until it runs into Sunset Boulevard at Hillhurst Avenue, is interesting to look at, though. Here's a tip: pull up HB on Google Earth and see an aerial view as you check out the front of buildings in the book.

'Then & Now' is an intriguing example of Ruscha's work (he designed it, too) which will probably increase in value and I see that signed copies are being offered at eight hundred dollars plus on some book websites.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.


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