Ed Ruscha and Photography.
Photographs by Ed Ruscha. Edited and with an essay by Sylvia Wolf.
256 pp., 80 color and 210 duotone illustrations, 8x11".
Published in conjunction with Ruscha's exhibit at the Whitney Museum, this handsome monograph features nearly 300 of his photographs, including many from his celebrated books, as well as dozens of previously unpublished pieces. Though we typically find Ruscha's pop paintings of quirky words and phrases on museum walls, he maintains an equally important footing in the history of photography. His compulsive serial images and impassive aesthetic in classic books like Thirty-four Parking Lots in Los Angeles and Every Building on the Sunset Strip examine the idea of the archive and have impacted people across the visual arts. His earlier, unknown photographs (mainly from a 1961 tour of Europe) provide the soul of the book. There is a real joy in seeing the peculiar aspects of our everyday surroundings-severed pigs' heads look at him through butcher shop windows, mannequins appear to indulge him, and his reflection or shadow tends to pop up each time suggesting a candid awareness of his artistic action. Seeing this spectacular collection together helps to contextualize the impact photography has had on his painting career and to solidify his stature as one of photography's greatest conceptualists.
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