Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire

Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire
Library Shelf Location 18.RUSC
Publication Date Jun 2018

Over the span of his six-decade career, Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) has created a distinctively stylized vision of the modern American landscape of gas stations, highways, and industrial buildings. Incorporating text, stark typography, and commercial logos, the artist's multivalent images both portray and interrogate the contemporary world's relentlessly packaged environment. By placing Ruscha's celebrated Course of Empire-a ten-painting installation originally created for the 2005 Venice Biennale-in dialogue with Thomas Cole's five-picture cycle The Course of Empire from the 1830s, this catalogue offers a fresh perspective on each of these disparate masterpieces. Unlike Cole's grandiose vision of the rise and fall of classical civilization, Ruscha's work comprises five black-and-white Los Angeles landscapes made in 1992 paired with color representations of the same sites as they appeared ten years later and draws attention to how often-overlooked changes in the evolving urban landscape are redolent of economic might and globalization or decline and stagnation.

ISBN 9781857096323
Quantity 1
Pages 48p; 31.1 x 24.8 cm
Authors Christopher Riopelle, Tom McCarthy, Daniel Herrmann
Format Hardback
Publisher National Gallery, London
Related Artist Ed Ruscha
Categories Artist (relating to a single artist/collaborative team), Painting
Artist's Nationality American (USA)
Language English

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