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Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles Hardcover – January 29, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262013649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262013642
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If Schwartz's book of four essays has a unifying theme, it is to highlight the self-fashioning that has dominated both Hollywood and Los Angeles artists like Ruscha. The book ranges across pop art, film, masculinity, feminist art, Dennis Hopper's filmmaking, and Los Angeles's urban landscape (a.k.a. art's second city). Schwartz (who has edited a collection of Ruscha's writings) says that her book is the first critical study to foreground the place of Ruscha's work within the social and cultural history of 1960s Los Angeles, and, indeed, her essay on gender roles and gender fashioning reveals much about how artistic identities are forged in the City of Angels. As for Ruscha, Schwartz roots his curious brand of hyper-masculinity in anxiety about women—or, put somewhat differently, gender and sexuality.Given its critical sensibilities, the book may appeal more to academic readers than a general audience. Photos. (Apr.)
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Review

"Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles is particularly valuable in it's exploration of Ruscha's relationship to Hollywood and influence on late 20th century architectural theory. It's a good read, and should be of interest to anyone concerned with the cultural history of Southern California."--Lynn Zelevansky, Henry J. Heinz II Director, Carnegie Museum of Art

(Lynn Zelevansky)

"Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles is particularly valuable in its exploration of Ruscha's relationship to Hollywood and influence on late-twentieth-century architectural theory. It's a good read, and should be of interest to anyone concerned with the cultural history of Southern California." Lynn Zelevansky, Henry J. Heinz II Director, Carnegie Museum of Art


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By las cosas on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ed Ruscha was part of the the scene surrounding arguably the most famous art gallery in the history of Los Angeles, the Ferus Gallery. A seminal gallery representing several artists in 1950s and 1960s Los Angeles that would provide the first fleeting fame for contemporary art in Los Angeles. Half a century later Ruscha is the best known of that early group of artists.

Best known for his paintings of service stations, Ruscha was able to combine his artistic talent with an equal talent for self-promotion. The Ferus Gallery represented several young white, male artists determined to follow a direction distinct from what was happening in New York, cultivating a reputation as both artists and studs (the title of the gallery's last show). Ruscha was comfortable playing with this image and its excesses.

A conservative city, Los Angeles largely ignored all contemporary art, leaving the Ferus boys a staring role a local art scene with few galleries or collectors. By the late 1970s the local establishment had taken note of these artists and equated them with contemporary excellence, a simplistic as well as sexist and racist attitude that did not go unnoticed by others in the LA art world. Ruscha and the other white male artists were now the establishment.

The above has been told in numerous articles and books, particularly those published around the Pacific Standard Time exhibits and books sponsored by the Getty Foundation that studied the arts in post WWII Los Angeles. What distinguishes this book from several others is the thoughtful analysis of the various cultural and artistic worlds that influenced and were influenced by Ed Ruscha. This is thus an examination of a much larger spectrum of Los Angeles than just Ed Ruscha.
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