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Ed Ruscha: Photographer [Hardcover]

By Ed Ruscha, Adam D. Weinberg (Foreward By) & Margit Rowell (Contributor)
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Item description for Ed Ruscha: Photographer by Ed Ruscha, Adam D. Weinberg & Margit Rowell...

Ed Ruscha's relationship to photography is complex and ambivalent. The world-class painter--and author of a 1972 New York Times article called "'I'm Not Really a Photographer'"--has been known to refer to his work in this second medium as a "hobby," despite considerable, persistent critical interest. Whether he likes it or not, the small albums of plainly-shot, snapshot-sized images he produced in the 1960s and 70s, including Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, intrigued his contemporaries and earned him an unshakable reputation. How? His subject matter was neither purely documentary nor solely artistic, in fact it was stereotypical and banal, with motifs drawn from the car-dominated western landscape. That rebellious material, along with his serial presentation, made for a mythical road-movie or photo-novel effect with Beat Generation overtones. The combination attracted artists and critics both, especially while serial logic was prominent in Pop art and Minimalism, and then retained that interest later as serial work became prominent in Conceptual art. Critics have remained attentive for decades, and Ruscha's influence remains apparent in new work in Europe and North America. Ed Ruscha, Photographer departs from earlier collections to explore how these images--and all of Ruscha's work in disciplines including painting, drawing, printmaking and photography--are guided and shaped by a single vision.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   183
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 8" Height: 10"
Weight:   2.14 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2006
Publisher   Steidl
ISBN  3865212069  
ISBN13  9783865212061  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ed Ruscha, Adam D. Weinberg & Margit Rowell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Margit Rowell is Chief Curator of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Margit Rowell currently resides in the state of New York. Margit Rowell was born in 1897.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Modern
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Collections, Catalogues & Exhibitions
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Ed Ruscha: Photographer?

ED RUSHA'S RED BOOK. photographer  Jan 17, 2007
It's a brilliant book for understand the rusha's research in photography,what he tooks from pictures and transform in art language.This books is really well done with good text and the immages have a chronologically order and related to the text too.I'm italian and so i have to reed that book ,because speaks about an author that isn't really famous in italy...i think is impossible to find something like that rusha's book in my language
Sorry for my bad english but this book is good for suare!!
The medium is the message  Sep 6, 2006
A well-produced book of Ruscha's photo work to coincide with his Whitney Museum exhibition. In the first forty pages Margit Rowell (who organised the exhibition) writes about Rusha's life and influences: an intriguing mixture of European commonplace, culture and heavy doses of American commercialism and print pop culture. I thought though that she found it hard going to explain some of his work within the context of fine art. Ruscha doesn't easily fit into a high culture setting and to my mind some of his endeavours are just plain mundane: the 'Babycakes' book for instance (I fancy Ed might well agree with me, too) but he is prepared to have a go at anything: painting, drawing, screenprinting, photography, publishing, films and clearly some great art has come out of all these different mediums.

The photo section of the book (114 pages and beautifully printed in 175dpi) runs from some of his first photo work in the late fifties, his European trip in 1961 to the last one, a color print presciently titled The End#4 from 1998. Annoyingly some of the images in this section could have been larger on the page, frequently the white space overpowers a photo that has plenty of detail. Included are eleven of my favorites, his aerial shots of LA parking lots, actually taken by photographer Art Alanis one Sunday in 1967, when the lots were empty.

Not having seen any of Rusha's famous self-published books I was surprised to read in Rowell's essay that some of them have many blank pages. Ruscha's creative ideas only stretched to so many single images but a book has many pages, so why not just leave some of them blank and maintain the medium of a book. Apart from blank pages there was always the option of just changing the subject. His 1964 'Various Small Fires' features fifteen snapshots of an incendiary nature (a Zippo lighter, a match, domestic gas range, a smoking cigarette, for instance) in a forty-eight page book but there is a sixteenth shot of a glass of milk. Ed said, in 1965, "Milk seemed to make the book more interesting and gave it more cohesion". Go figure!

The back of the book lists the exhibits, a selected bibliography, chronology and finally the index. Overall an excellent overview of Rusha's photography and confirming to me, at least, that he is a bit of a creative enigma.

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