ED RUSCHA Some Los Angeles Apartments (Artist Book, True First Edition) 1965, True First Edition Artist Book: Stated Limited Edition of only 700
A rare and elusive 1960s Artist Book. Makes a terrific gift. This is a TRUE 1965 1st Edition of only 700 stated copies. (NOT to be confused with the second edition in 1970 which was published in a much larger edition of 3000 and NOT to be confused with an eponymous 1990 Whitney Museum publication.) A must have for Ruscha Fans. THIS IS THE 1965 EDITION OF ONLY 700. SOME LOS ANGELES APARTMENTS. Los Angeles: Self-Published, 1965. True First Edition 1/700. Printed Wrappers with Glassine. Original Artist's Book. This marvelous vintage 1965 48 page book features 34 black and white illustrations and is in surprisingly fine condition. "Some Los Angeles Apartments" is Ed Ruscha's third artist book - a wry yet heartfelt photographic survey of the subtle beauty of the post-war Southern California rental property construction boom. A spectacularly bright, most handsome example of the uncommon 1965 first edition (entry B3 in Siri Engberg's "Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999" which is also cited on page 141 of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's "The Photobook: A History Volume II", pages 198-201 of The Hasselblad Center's "The Open Book", page 105 of "From Fair to Fine 2", and page 226 of "From Fair to Fine 3") limited to seven hundred unnumbered copies. This is an exceptional example of this important little gem that is often confused with the 1990 Whitney Museum exhibition catalogue of virtually the same title.
"In the 1960s, Ed Ruscha more or less reinvented the artist’s book. By turning away from the craftsmanship and luxury status that typified the livre d’artiste in favor of the artistic idea or concept, expressed simply through photographs and text, Ruscha opened the genre to the possibilities of mass-production and distribution. Some Los Angeles Apartments, with its straightforward presentation of modern California domestic buldings, celebrated the vernacular architecture of Southern California."
- The Getty Museum
"....It's perhaps fitting that Ed Ruscha - one of the central figures in late 20th century photography - does not consider himself a photographer. "I think photography is dead as a fine art," he told John Coplans in 1965. "Its only place is in the commercial world, for technical and commercial purposes." Ruscha stretched the boundaries to suit his own needs, using photos as source material for paintings, prints, books, and other noncommercial applications. But photos remained a means, not an end. A few years later, in 1972, in an interview with AD Coleman he went even further. "I'm not a photographer at all. I never take pictures just for the taking of pictures. It's strictly a medium to use or not use, and I use it only when I have to." In the photo culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s, such statements were anathema. The dominant aesthetic as passed down from Newhall to Steichen to Szarkowski had not yet escaped the trappings of high modernism. Photography still had a chip on its shoulder. It wanted to be art and modeled itself accordingly. Photographers strived to manifest practiced expertise. Photographs were carefully seen and crafted, then framed for the wall. The fine art print, preferably in black and white, was idealized. Perhaps fetishized is a better word. Into this world stumbled Ruscha. He didn't make prints. He made small paperback books. He knew nothing of the zone system or previsualization. Worse, his focus was seemingly misguided. Instead of expressing the sublime his books typologized the banal. The printing was simple, rough and unfussy. His first hand-made book, Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, went over like a lead balloon. The next one, Various Small Fires, fared about as well. Some Los Angeles Apartments was next, depicting plain exterior views of various residences around LA. If the photographs had ventured inside, and inside Ruscha's apartment in particular, they would've shown copies of his unsold books stacked along the walls...."
- Photo Eye Blog (2013) .
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