press release

Gagosian Gallery Davies Street, London

Opening reception for the artist: Thursday, October 4th, from 6 to 8pm

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present Busted Glass, a new series of drawings by Ed Ruscha.

Ruscha's art defies easy categorization. He has recorded the shifting emblems of American life in the form of Hollywood logos and stylized gas stations. His choice of words and phrases mines the perpetual interplay between language as a physical thing and language as a transparent medium. The mystery of his drawings begin with drawing itself, and its equivocal position in Western art between the realms of objects and ideas.

In Busted Glass, Ruscha depicts with delicate precision panes of glass, cracked, broken or in shards. The transparent substance and its elusive subject matter is defined only through subtle modulations of light and shade. And, like so many of his artistic emanations, these small and exquisite drawings contain a larger paradox.

Ruscha has often evoked the window as metaphor. In drawings from the eighties, the shadow of a window crossbar and its light play became the background for words as a kind of self-reflexive artistic debate -- a spectacle engaged in an assault on its own claims of realism. In Busted Glass, mimetic devices participate in their own undoing, as the artist discourses with the formal capacities of drawing. Drawing as a kind of graphological disclosure has an inveterate connection with gesture and its meaning. But in the new drawings is Ruscha's hand creating the contingent fault line of the glass, or is he pointing to its form as something ultimately intangible?

Ed Ruscha was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1937 and studied painting, photography, and graphic design at the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts). His work is collected by major museums worldwide and has been shown extensively, most recently the drawing retrospective Cotton Puffs, Q-Tips®, Smokes and Mirror, which toured U.S museums in 2004-2005 and Ed Ruscha: Photographer at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Musée National Jeu de Paume, Paris in 2006. Gagosian Gallery will publish Volume Three of the painting catalogue raisonné later this year. Volume One (1956 to 1969) of the catalogue raisonné of works on paper will be published in 2008.

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.