LAMA set the auction record for any print by Ed Ruscha in the October 12, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction with Double Standard from 1969 (Lot 75), which realized $206,250.
About The Artist
Painter, photographer, and printmaker Ed Ruscha conflates the Los Angeles landscape with a deadpan vocabulary to explore our relationship with mass media. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, early on he made his way to Los Angeles after graduating from high school, with ambitions to become a commercial artist. He enrolled in the Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts) where he began painting under the direction of Robert Irwin and Emerson Woelffer, two artists Ruscha named as influences. During an apprenticeship with Saul Marks at Plantin Press in 1958, he developed a love for manual typesetting and “a respect for pages,” which came to fruition in his photo books Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963) and Various Small Fires (1964). By 1961 Ruscha left his commercial advertising job to fully devote himself to painting, and only a year later, he was included in the show New Painting of Common Objects, with fellow Pop artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, and Joe Goode at the Pasadena Art Museum.
Ruscha concentrated largely on printmaking during the late 60s as he became more interested in the actual process. His early experience taught him that the printmaking process followed a completely different set of rules compared to creating works on canvas. In 1971, he reused his iconic Hollywood image from 1968, but instead of traditional printer’s ink, he used actual fruit juice from a brand called Metrecal. He later used non-traditional materials such as caviar and Pepto-Bismol. He continued to experiment with the boundaries of genre, evidenced by Vowel #58 U (1996), a painting on the cover of his 1964 book, Various Small Fires. Throughout the next three decades until the present, Ruscha achieved countless solo shows, major international exhibitions, and retrospectives, including Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting, which opened at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2009 and later traveled to Munich and Stockholm. Ruscha continues to live and work in Los Angeles.
“About/Ed Ruscha.” Ed Ruscha. Edward J. Ruscha IV, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2012.