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Ed Ruscha

You Will Eat Hot Lead Do As Told Or Suffer No Longer Available It's Payback Time Noose Around Your Neck Be Careful Else We Be Bangin' on You, You Hear Me?, 2001, 4-color photogravures with screenprinted text, 18 x 14 in., Edition of 60

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  • Ed Ruscha

Susan Inglett is pleased to present the work of ED RUSCHA published by the Collaborative Workshop at the University of South Florida, Graphicstudio.

The exhibition will run from 14 March 2002 to 20 April 2002.

One of America’s most influential contemporary artists, Ed Ruscha first worked at Graphicstudio during its early years, 1970-1971. Having devoted much of the previous decade to producing the artists’ books that would make his name synonymous with the genre, Ruscha chose to memorialize six of the books as finely hand-drawn lithographs -- among them “Twentysix Gasoline Stations”, “Nine Swimming Pools” and “Real Estate Opportunities”.

Thirty years later in 2000-2001 Ruscha returned to Graphicstudio, this time to create a suite of six four-color photogravures and a limited edition artist book. The early and late bodies of work share striking similarities in the interplay of word and image, commercial and fine art techniques.

“Country Cityscapes” covers familiar territory for Ruscha, the American Southwest. Countless pilgrimages between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles inspired Ruscha’s early documentation of the interminable progression of roadside filling stations and wide open spaces en route. Today Ruscha looks beyond the hood of the car towards the horizon. Appropriating sumptuous spreads from old travel magazines and books, the artist selects images of an idyllic, or idealized, nation with purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain. The endless vistas are interrupted only by blank patches where it appears the artist has removed the magazine text, only to discreetly re-caption each piece with fiery Cowboy cliches. Ruscha has made a career of pitting one cliche against another, word versus image. Forty years later he continues to mix it up.