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Ed Ruscha's Print Show at Bernard Jacobson Gallery
By Coline Milliard
Published January 10, 2013

Cork Street veteran Bernard Jacobson is unveiling an exhibition dedicated to Ed Ruscha's print work. The exhibition, which opens to the public today, features some of the Californian artist's best-known images, including the iconic 'Hollywood' sign seen from the back, as if from the artist's studio.

The show covers two decades of print-making, and several key periods in the artist's production: from his early experiments with words and letters, to the later use of organic materials in portfolios such as the London-inspired "News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews, Dues", from 1970.

"With printmaking, I can only have notions in my mind," the artist says in the catalogue raisonee. "I just have a general pattern about the kind of area I want to cover and I set aside a certain few weeks of studio time on arrangement with a workshop. Then I just kind of pace myself...I never really know what I hope to achieve until the proofs start coming back."

The exhibition is also a testimony to the long-standing relationship between Ruscha and the Cork Street dealer. It borrows its title from an eponymous Ruscha print, "I'm Amazed," which was published in 1971 as part of a large-print series commissioned by Jacobson.

"Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode and I went to a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles," says the dealer, reminiscing how the piece came together. "We ordered our food and when it arrived 45 minutes later it was cold. We sent it back and 30 minutes later it arrived back but all wrong. Ed Ruscha got really angry and wrote on a small piece of paper: 'I'm Amazed,' handed it to me and said: 'Bernard, here is your print.'"

'Ed Ruscha: I'm Amazed', until February 15, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London