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Graphite powder and graphite wash, with point of brush and graphite wash
Support: Cream(1) wove paper
Sheet: 35.5 x 53.7 cm (14 x 21 1/8 in.); Image: 33 x 54.6 cm (13 x 21 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1998.114
Ruscha edited out window treatments and trees from his original photograph to make the building seem more streamlined.
Edward Ruscha has lived and worked in Los Angeles since the 1950s. He developed an interest in commercial imagery early on, using words and advertising logos to structure his artworks. In particular, Ruscha often depicted the commercial architecture and car culture characteristic of California. This drawing relates to Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965), one of numerous photobooks that the artist self-published throughout the 1960s. For this project, Ruscha photographed unremarkable apartment buildings, highlighting their sameness through seriality. He revisited ten of the photographs as drawings, such as this one, in which he further simplified the building's structure, flattening and streamlining it through smoothly applied graphite powder.
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