Ed Ruscha's work has profoundly influenced countless modern artists, but his artist books - such as Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles, and A Few Palm Trees - offer a unique opportunity to trace that influence directly to the near and far corners of the modern art world. For decades, a broad spectrum of artists have produced their own small books revisiting, rebelling against, and responding to the American painter and photographer's idiosyncratic collections.
Now, Ruscha's artist books and the fascinatingly kindred works they inspired are the focus of a new exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery and book - Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha from MIT Press - both of which showcase Ruscha's materials alongside the numerous books they influenced. To coincide with the exhibit opening and book release, Ruscha joins Paul Holdengräber onstage to reflect on his career and enduring influence.
Photograph courtesy of Ed Ruscha and Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Kate Simon.