Ed Ruscha

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Course of Empire

Edited by Christopher Riopelle; With essays by Tom McCarthy and Daniel F. Herrmann

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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.

Christopher Riopelle is the Neil Westreich Curator of Post-1800 Paintings and Daniel F. Herrmann is curator of special projects, both at the National Gallery, London. Tom McCarthy is a British writer and artist.


EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

The National Gallery, London
(06/11/2018–10/07/2018)

ISBN: 9781857096323
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Publishing Partner: Published by National Gallery Company, London/Distributed by Yale University Press
48 pages, 12 1/4 x 9 3/4
30 color illus.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
A Brush With Nature

The Gere Collection of Landscape Oil Sketches
Revised Edition

Christopher Riopelle and Xavier Bray; with an essay by Char

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Auto Mania

Cars, Consumers, and the Environment

Tom McCarthy

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Manet to Picasso

The National Gallery

Christopher Riopelle; With Charlotte Appleyard, Sarah Herri

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Picasso

Challenging the Past

Elizabeth Cowling, Susan Grace Galassi, Christopher Riopell

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Seduced by Art

Photography Past and Present

Hope Kingsley; With a contribution by Christopher Riopelle

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Richard Hamilton

The Late Works

Christopher Riopelle and Michael Bracewell

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