Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha

United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

May 26, 2005

Ed Ruscha
June 12 - November 6, 2005
Press Conference: June 9, 3:30PM

United States Pavilion
Giardini della Biennale

Commissioner: Linda Norden, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Harvard University Art Museums
Consulting Curator: Donna De Salvo

Ed Ruscha's Project
Ed Ruscha's painting, almost from the outset, was tied very closely to the look and feel of a journalistic recording of found facades and signage. I take things as I find them, Ruscha has often remarked. A lot of these things come from the noise of everyday life.

Ruscha's selection as representative of the United States for the 51st Venice Biennale is both long overdue and welcome; he has been at the cutting edge of American art for at least forty years. On the occasion of this Biennale, he has taken the United States Pavilion as he found it, creating an entirely new cycle of paintings, based on an earlier series of dark urban landscapes, and installing it with the Jeffersonian symmetry of the pavilions architecture in mind.

As in the past, Ruscha's paintings are photographic in feel, depict an urban landscape at once familiar and remote, and manage to make mundane structures somehow monumental. But the landscape depicted here is no longer limited to Los Angeles, and the familiarity of the imagery is put to the service of something more complicated and unsettling. The new cycle of paintings, and the Venice installation, make progress, or the course of progress, their subject. Ruschas longstanding desire to hammer down or capture whatever is out there in a documentary manner is here subject to something more imaginary. Without forfeiting his deadpan reserve, Ruscha has opened up images we think we understand to speculation and to doubt.
A fully illustrated catalogue, with forewords by Joan Didion and Frances Stark and an essay by Commissioner Linda Norden and Consulting Curator Donna De Salvo, has been published on the occasion of the exhibition at the 51st Venice Biennale.
Project Administration
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Broad Art Foundation
Lehman Brothers
The Ford Foundation
Hugo Boss
John and Frances Bowes
Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy
Glenn Fuhrman
Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr.
Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro
Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis
The Leonard & Evelyn Lauder Foundation
Aimee and Robert Lehrman
Margaret and Daniel Loeb
Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Foundation
Stavros Merjos and Honor Fraser
John and Amy Phelan
Rosina Lee Yue and Bert A. Lies, Jr., M.D.
In-kind support
Gruppo Bodino SpA, Torino
Larry Gagosian
Blue Medium, Inc.
Telephone: 1 212-675-1800
Fax: 1 212-675-1855
E-mail: info@bluemedium.com

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United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 26, 2005

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