Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha Zoot Soot 2015 Die-Cut Letterpress on Handmade Paper Signed Limited Edition

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Artist: Ed Ruscha
Title: Zoot Soot
Medium: Die-Cut letterpress on handmade paper with colored threads
Year: 2015
Paper Size: 10-3/4" x 13-3/4"
Frame Size: 16-1/2" x 19-1/2"
Edition: 4/40 + 8 AP, Published by Bert Green Fine Art, Chicago
Inscription: Signed, numbered, and dated in ink along lower edge
Documentation: Includes Gallery Certificate of Authenticity

Ed Ruscha is known for his influential contributions to Pop art and his fascination with American culture and the visual language of commercial advertising. His works often incorporate text and wordplay, capturing a sense of humor and irony.

"Zoot Soot" is part of an Ed Ruscha series that features two-word idioms as their subject matter. Other works in series include "Rain Gain" and "Real Deal". Made between 2011 and 2015, these works on paper showcase Ruscha's talents as a printmaker and his exploration of signage and American vernacular language. The irregular areas of tone density present in each work in the series are a result of Ruscha's use of the "flat bite" or "open bite" etching technique, where large areas of the plate are exposed to acid, creating uneven impressions that enhance the artistic effect.

The inclusion of phonetic variation in the spelling of "Zoot 'Suit'" with the double "o" adds to the artwork's visual symmetry. The contrasting red and off-white tones allows the symmetry and rhyme to stand out, combining visual and auditory cues.

Ed Ruscha’s 2015 "Zoot Soot" die-cut letterpress on handmade paper with colored threads is signed, numbered, and date on the bottom. The work is part of an edition of 40 + 8 AP and includes a certificate of authenticity from Modern Artifact.

About Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha, one of America's most influential contemporary artists, was born on December 16, 1937, in Omaha, Nebraska. Ruscha's artistic career spans over six decades and encompasses a vast range of mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and filmmaking. His art is known for its focus on the American landscape, pop culture, and the visual language of advertising.

Ruscha's love for art and creativity emerged during his childhood years. He was inspired by his draftsman father and his frequent trips to the local library where he learned about artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. In 1956, Ruscha moved to Los Angeles to attend the Chouinard Art Institute, now known as the California Institute of the Arts. It was in this vibrant artistic community that Ruscha began to develop his distinctive style.

During his early years in Los Angeles, Ruscha worked as a graphic designer, which greatly influenced his artistic approach. He was fascinated by the visual landscape of America, specifically the stark typography and bold signage found along the iconic Sunset Strip. These elements became central to his art as he started incorporating words, phrases, and symbols into his paintings, often using his own invented visual language.

Ruscha gained national recognition in the 1960s as a key figure in the emerging Pop art movement. His paintings, such as "Standard Station" and "Twentysix Gasoline Stations", garnered critical acclaim for their examination of American consumer culture and commercial imagery. Ruscha's unique blend of humor, irony, and graphic precision propelled him to the forefront of the art world.

Throughout his career, Ruscha continued to explore diverse artistic techniques and subject matters. His use of unconventional materials, such as gunpowder and organic substances, expanded the possibilities of his art. Ruscha's photographic series, like "Every Building on the Sunset Strip" and "Twenty-six Gasoline Stations", demonstrated his interest in documenting and capturing everyday life.

Ed Ruscha's contributions to the art world have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. He has exhibited extensively worldwide, including at major institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. His artwork has had a significant impact on subsequent generations of artists and continues to be celebrated for its iconic imagery, conceptual depth, and sheer visual brilliance.

Even in his later years, Ed Ruscha remains an active and prolific artist, constantly challenging the boundaries of his own creativity. His unwavering commitment to experimentation and exploration has solidified his place as a true pioneer of contemporary art. Ed Ruscha's artworks continue to captivate and inspire audiences around the world, leaving an indelible mark.

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