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Anchovy, 1969

Edward Ruscha

American, 1937-
Lithograph on calendered Rives BFK paper; cut, torn and deckle edges, bleed image
sheet: 19-1/8 x 28-1/4 in. (48.6 x 71.8 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Anonymous Gift
P.1972.08.029
© 2012 Edward Ruscha

Not on view

Edward Ruscha was a substantial force in the maturation of the Los Angeles art scene in the 1960s, and he is one of the area’s most accomplished and prolific printmakers. Like his colleagues John Altoon, Billy Al Bengston, Ken Price and Ed Moses, Ruscha had his first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery, in 1963. By the time he was granted his artist-fellowship at Tamarind, Ruscha had already experimented with printmaking, and he made his first concerted effort at exploring the technical nuances offered by lithography. The humorous juxtaposition of word and image in his early work was refined even further in this series of prints, and the surface sheen, coupled with his precise draftsmanship, achieved a polish as yet unseen in his oeuvre. Anchovy was the final print he pulled at Tamarind, before starting at Cirrus, in the year the printshop was founded by Jean Milant. The subsequent prints marked the beginning of a long and inventive relationship with Milant, who Ruscha had printed with at Tamarind. The artist even had a hand in where Cirrus was established, as he had helped the printer find a building at 708 Manhattan Place, near the artist’s Hollywood studio.


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