June 12-September 5, 1999
EDWARD RUSCHA: EDITIONS 1959-1999
Exhibition
Galleries 1, 2, and 3



   
For 40 years, Edward Ruscha has been an influential voice in postwar American painting as well as one of contemporary art's most significant graphic artists. Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999 is a major retrospective of the artist's prints, books, and graphic works and the first full-scale museum presentation of this material since the 1970s.

 
 
POOLS #2
Edward Ruscha
POOLS #2  
1968/1997


From his first prints and artist's books made in the early 1960s to his latest projects, Ruscha has created a body of editioned work that is uniquely American in both subject and sensibility. He first began making prints in the late 1950s, and produced his first lithograph in 1962, which was soon followed by his landmark book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Containing 26 color and black-and-white photographs of filling stations on Route 66 between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City, the book was like nothing the art world had seen before. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ruscha continued to publish similar books, filled with photographs depicting commonplace items or locations that commented on the sterility and anonymity of the Los Angeles landscape. These works are now considered pivotal in the history of the contemporary artist's book. A complete presentation of Ruscha's publications is on view in the exhibition.

ROOSTER
Edward Ruscha
ROOSTER  
1988

The exhibition also includes a comprehensive view of Ruscha's print projects produced and published in collaboration with a wide range of international graphics workshops. His prints resonate with his signature blend of Pop, Surrealist, and Conceptual ideas, often depicting words as both subject and object. Ruscha's mixture of the playful and mundane with the cinematic can be found in prints that feature such emblems of popular culture as the Hollywood sign atop the hills of Los Angeles, or the Standard gasoline station. Other works show his love of humor and the unexpected, with images rendered in such substances as spinach and Pepto-Bismol in place of traditional printing inks. Later prints feature ordinary objects floating in enigmatic voids of lush color.

In addition to the prints and books, the exhibition includes a section on Ruscha's activity in the larger arena of media, featuring projects he has created for art magazines, book and album covers, and posters. A centerpiece of the presentation is the artist's Chocolate Room, a reconstruction of an installation first created for the 1970 Venice Biennale, in which gallery walls are covered in sheets of paper screenprinted with chocolate.

The exhibition is accompanied by a two-volume, full-color, boxed catalogue raisonné that documents Ruscha's editioned work to date. It features essays by exhibition curator Siri Engberg and independent artist's-book curator-critic Clive Phillpot. Available in the Walker Art Center Shops. Boxed hardcover: $85 ($63.75 Walker members).

SWEETS, MEATS, SHEETS
Edward Ruscha
SWEETS, MEATS, SHEETS  
1975


TELEPHONE
Edward Ruscha
TELEPHONE  
1993/1997







JULY RELATED EVENTS

SECOND SUNDAY TOUR: TEXT/IMAGE
SUNDAY, JULY 11, 2 PM

SPECIAL TOUR AND DISCUSSION: SIX DEGREES OF ED RUSCHA
THURSDAY, JULY 15, 6:30 PM
Take a rare tour of Ruscha's artist's books with Walker librarian Rosemary Furtak.


PUBLIC TOUR
SUNDAY, JULY 18, 2 PM
Join a Walker tour guide for an in-depth look at the Ruscha exhibition.


ART LAB FOR ADULTS
THURSDAYS, JULY 29 AND AUGUST 5, 6:30-9:30 PM


NEW ART LAB INSTALLATION: IF NOT THIS
THURSDAYS, JULY 29 AND AUGUST 5, 6:30-9:30 PM
In conjunction with the exhibition Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999,Twin Cities sculptor-book artist Karen Wirth has created IF not THIS in the Art Lab, a classroom for hands-on activities located on the Walker's lower level. Conceptually linked to Ruscha's imagery and his interest in the book form and text, IF not THIS features walls that resemble pages of a book, images of the Minnesota landscape, and videos of Lake Street inspired by Ruscha's work Every Building on the Sunset Strip.The Art Lab is open for viewing on weekends during museum hours.

A recipient of numerous grants and awards, Wirth is Chair of Fine Arts at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul. She is currently working on a commission with architect Garth Rockcastle to design the center staircase for the new Minnesota Book and Literary Arts Building.

THE ART LAB INSTALLATION IF NOT THIS IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE MEDTRONIC FOUNDATION.




JUNE RELATED EVENTS

PREVIEW PARTY + WALKER AFTER HOURS
FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 5:30-9 PM $14 ($7 WALKER MEMBERS)
Celebrate the exhibition opening at a far-from-Standard party with music on two stages, highlighted by the Mason Jennings Band on the rooftop terrace, films by Ruscha, a book-building art lab, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and more. For details, see the back cover.

OPENING-DAY ARTIST'S TALK WITH EDWARD RUSCHA
SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 3 PM $6 ($3 WALKER MEMBERS AND STUDENTS)
AUDITORIUM
Ruscha introduces a special screening of his short film Miracle (1975, U.S., 28 minutes), a story about a curious day in the life of an auto mechanic. He then discusses various themes in his work, with a particular focus on his prints and artist's books.

SECOND SUNDAY TOUR: LIKE AN OPEN BOOK
SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2 PM FREE WITH GALLERY ADMISSION
AUDITORIUM
Take a tour with Twin Cities sculptor-book artist Karen Wirth.

LECTURE: ED AND EDWARD: THE POLITICS OF AMERICAN
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 7 PM $6 ($3 MEMBERS AND STUDENTS)
LECTURE ROOM
Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The New Yorker, addresses Ruscha's uncommon uses of common American language.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ
The exhibition is accompanied by a two-volume, full-color, boxed catalogue raisonné that documents Ruscha's editioned work to date. It features essays by exhibition curator Siri Engberg and independent artist's-book curator-critic Clive Phillpot. Available in the Walker Art Center Shops. Boxed hardcover: $85 ($63.75 Walker members).


TOUR SCHEDULE:

WALKER ART CENTER
JUNE 12-SEPTEMBER 5, 1999

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
JUNE 4-AUGUST 28, 2000

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
TAMPA
OCTOBER 6, 2000-JANUARY 5, 2001

EDWARD RUSCHA: EDITIONS 1959-1999 IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM LANNAN FOUNDATION, DAYTON'S FRANGO® FUND, THE ELI BROAD FAMILY FOUNDATION, GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO., AND THE DOUGLAS S. CRAMER FOUNDATION. THE EXHIBITION CATALOGUE IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY THE RICHARD FLORSHEIM ART FUND. OPENING-WEEKEND EVENTS ARE SUPPORTED IN PART BY CHRISTIE'S.