ed ruscha

ed ruscha

A FEW QUESTIONS FOR ED

By Amanda Quinn Olivar
West Coast Editor

Featured Image: Ed Ruscha circa 1983. Courtesy of Joan Agajanian Quinn Archives.

Ed Ruscha is an LA-based painter, printmaker, and filmmaker. He studied at the Chouinard Art Institute, and in the early sixties became well known for his paintings, collages, and printmaking, and for his association with the Ferus Gallery group, which also included artists Robert Irwin, Edward Moses, Ken Price, and Edward Kienholz. Ruscha later achieved recognition for his paintings incorporating words and phrases and for his many photographic books, all influenced by the deadpan irreverence of the Pop Art movement. Ruscha's work has been exhibited internationally for three decades and is represented in major museum collections. (bio: The Beat Museum)

Ruscha's fantastic dual exhibition, Books & Co. and Prints and Photographs at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills closes on September 9th. Amanda caught up with Ed just in time.


Amanda Quinn Olivar: What came first, prints, paintings or photography?

Ed Ruscha: Photography, then painting then prints. Printmaking is more involved.

AQO: Do the different disciplines influence each other?

ER: They all look at each other and ask hard questions.

AQO: What are some of the most unconventional materials you've worked with in printmaking? 

ER: Axle grease, caviar, tomato sauce and chocolate.

Norman Lear's party, circa late 1970s. Clockwise from top left: Joe Goode, Ed Ruscha, Robert Graham, Jack Quinn. Courtesy of Joan Agajanian Quinn Archives.

Norman Lear's party, circa late 1970s. Clockwise from top left: Joe Goode, Ed Ruscha, Robert Graham, Jack Quinn. Courtesy of Joan Agajanian Quinn Archives.

AQO: Your prints translate so well with the typefaces you use. How do you choose your typeface… do you experiment?   

ER: It’s an impulsive move every time - clumsiness plays its part somehow.

AQO: What role does color play in your work?  

ER: I like colors that forgot that they were supposed to be colors, then I can settle back.

AQO: Which of your peers influenced your work the most?

ER: Easy, Joe Goode.

AQO: Please relate a memory or two that influenced your life and/or career.

ER: Along around age 50-something I got very scared when I learned I had vertebrae arthritis and had to have a spinal fusion operation. It put me on a different highway for awhile.  

AQO: What's your favorite art accident?  

ER: Misspelling the word “Hollywood”.
 

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Josh White/JWPictures.com.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Josh White/JWPictures.com.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Jeff McLane.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Jeff McLane.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Josh White/JWPictures.com.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Josh White/JWPictures.com.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Josh White/JWPictures.com.

All artworks © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photography: Josh White/JWPictures.com.

Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Aubrey Mayer.

Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Aubrey Mayer.

Ed Ruscha Books & Co. and Prints and Photographs at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills, July 28 - September 9, 2016.