JRHS in Various Small Books | MIT Press

21 Feb JRHS in Various Small Books | MIT Press

VSBTwentysix Abandoned Jackrabbit Homesteads by Kim Stringfellow is a small self-published edition of 25 perfect bound copies based on Ed Ruscha’s seminal, Twentysix Gas Stations photo book originally published during the 1960s. Stringfellow’s version is included in Various Small Books published by MIT Press in February 2013, edited by Jeff Brouws, Wendy Burton and Hermann Zschiegner.

Coinciding with this release is the exhibit, Ed Ruscha: Books & Co. at Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue, New York running from March 5 – April 27, 2013. This book plus ninety others inspired by Ruscha’s books are included in this exhibit. A reception will be held Tuesday, March 6th, 2013 from 6 to 8 pm.

Various Small Books: Press Release

In the 1960s and 1970s, the artist Ed Ruscha created a series of small photo-conceptual artist’s books, among them Twentysix Gas StationsVarious Small FiresEvery Building on the Sunset Strip,Thirtyfour Parking LotsReal Estate Opportunities, and A Few Palm Trees. Featuring mundane subjects photographed prosaically, with idiosyncratically deadpan titles, these “small books” were sought after, collected, and loved by Ruscha’s fans and fellow artists. Over the past thirty years, close to 100 other small books that appropriated or paid homage to Ruscha’s have appeared throughout the world. This book collects ninety-one of these projects, showcasing the cover and sample layouts from each along with a description of the work. It also includes selections from Ruscha’s books and an appendix listing all known Ruscha book tributes.

These small books revisit, imitate, honor, and parody Ruscha in form, content, and title. Some rephotograph his subjects: Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Forty Years Later. Some offer a humorous variation: Various Unbaked Cookies (which concludes, as did Ruscha’s Various Small Fires, with a glass of milk), Twentynine Palms (twenty-nine photographs of palm-readers’ signs). Some say something different: None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip. Some reach for a connection with Ruscha himself: 17 Parked Cars in Various Parking Lots Along Pacific Coast Highway Between My House and Ed Ruscha’s.

With his books, Ruscha expanded the artist’s field of permissible subjects, approaches, and methods. With VARIOUS SMALL BOOKS, various artists pay tribute to Ed Ruscha and extend the legacy of his books.