Ed Ruscha

THEN & NOW
October 27 - December 23, 2005

Ed Ruscha - THEN & NOW
Ed Ruscha working on THEN & NOW in his studio

Photo by Gerhard Steidl

Download Press Release PDF (58 Kb)

Opening reception for the artist: Thursday, October 27th 6 - 8pm


Gagosian Gallery, in conjunction with Steidl Verlag, is pleased to announce "Ed Ruscha: THEN & NOW," a set of photographic prints that document Hollywood Boulevard, first in 1973 and then thirty-one years later in 2004. This exhibition also marks the ten-year anniversary of Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills.

Between 1962 and 1978, Ed Ruscha produced seventeen influential artist's books, usually self-published and in small print runs. Perhaps the most well known of these books is "Every Building on The Sunset Strip," published in 1966, which shows a famous stretch along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. In 1973, Ruscha followed the same procedure, this time documenting Hollywood Boulevard, producing two continuous panoramic views of the north and south sides of the street. Loading a continuous strip of black & white 35mm film into his motor-drive Nikon F2 and then mounting it on a tripod in the bed of a pickup truck, Ruscha drove back and forth across the entire length of the street, shooting it frame-by-frame. The negatives were developed, but never published.

In 2004, the artist re-shot Hollywood Boulevard. The same type of camera equipment was used to re-photograph the street, but this time on 35mm color-negative film. In "THEN & NOW," the original 1973 panoramic images run parallel to their 2004 versions €" documenting the changes that have occurred over three decades.

"This time the photos are in color, but that is a small difference compared with the many buildings which have changed, been altered, disappeared. The famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre with its sidewalk of movie star's hand and footprints is now a large complex with a giant archway; parking lots lay where buildings once rose; mom and pop shops are now chains. Hollywood Boulevard's sedate, old-style glamour of 1973 has a new facade of uniformity and tourist amnesia."
-Karen Marta, Domus, Sep 2005 (issue 884)

This Ed Ruscha multiple is a set of 142 photographic prints, housed in a handmade wooden crate signed and numbered in an edition of 10 (with 6 A.P.s).