Written by Mathieu Doublet.
The Museum of Modern Art presents « Ed Ruscha / Now Then », the most comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work ever staged, and his first solo exhibition at the Museum. Organized in close collaboration with the artist and mirroring his own cross disciplinary approach, the exhibition will feature over 200 works, produced from 1958 to the present, in various media—including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, artist’s books, and installation—displayed according to a loose chronology throughout the Museum’s sixth-floor galleries. Beginning with his formative years, the exhibition will include rarely seen paintings and works on paper, which reference his extensive travels throughout the United States and Europe, revealing the artist’s keen attention to everyday sights, including roadside architecture, consumer items, and public signage. The exhibition will also reunite a number of breakthrough word paintings that Ruscha made shortly after completing his studies at Chouinard. Cross-media displays throughout the retrospective will offer insight into Ruscha’s unique working methods. Viewers will have the opportunity to trace the migration of subjects across media, following, for example, an image of a Standard Oil gasoline station from a small black-and-white reproduction in his self-published artist’s book, to the monumental oil paintings made shortly after, which remain among Ruscha’s most recognizable works.