ON TIME: Prints by Ed Ruscha
ON TIME: Prints by Ed Ruscha
This exhibition presents a view of Ruscha’s conceptual arc, focusing especially on the passage of time and representations of change.
Among Ruscha’s earliest works with Mixografia is Clock from 1994. With its hands missing, Ruscha renders the clock timeless and its functionality undone. There is an emphasis on the physical manifestation of entropy in his edition New Wood/Old Wood. Ruscha depicts a cut plank at two distinct stages of weathering, indicating the process of decay in its warped fibers and darkening hues.
Leaving Omaha for California in the early 1960s, Ruscha became fascinated by the ubiquitous yet banal architecture seen along U.S. Route 66. In Ghost Station, he revisits the Standard Oil filling station but removes its color and thus the context of time entirely. Whereas in previous renditions of this image Ruscha uses split-fountain gradients and lighting effects to suggest atmospheric conditions and the position of the sun in the sky, in Ghost Station he limits all formal considerations to sharp lines created by cast shadows from the artwork’s low-relief impression. In his 2014 series Rusty Signs, the effects of decay are visible on these objects as one might find them in the world at various points of neglect and disrepair. The signs become backdrops for messages that carry a renewed emotional resonance beyond their formerly instructional purpose.
Ed Ruscha, Ghost Station (detail)
Since a very young age my attention has always been on signs of every kind (some that I have painted by hand and others that are blank or enigmatic). These new editions are about neglected and forgotten signs from neglected and forgotten landscapes.
Ed Ruscha, 2014
Ed Ruscha with Luis Remba and Shaye Remba with Ghost Station in production
Ed Ruscha working on the maquette for New Wood/Old Wood
Master Printer Rodrigo Montoya inking a plate for Rusty Signs
Ed Ruscha was born on December 16, 1937 in Omaha, NE. He grew up in Oklahoma City before moving to Los Angeles to study art at the Chouinard Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts). Deeply influenced by the culture and atmosphere of Southern California, Los Angeles as a place has proved to be a consistent wellspring for Ruscha’s imagination. In 2016, he was the subject of a sprawling exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, titled “Ed Ruscha and the Great American West,” it included 99 works which dealt with America’s captivation with the western landscape and manifest destiny. The artist’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Tate Gallery in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He continues to live and work in Los Angeles, CA.