Ed Ruscha’s Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984 at Gagosian

Gagosian is pleased to present “Custom-Built Intrigue: Drawings 1974–1984,” an exhibition of key text drawings by Ed Ruscha. Many of these historical gems have been brought together thanks to generous loans from private and institutional collections.

Throughout decades of formal experimentation, Ruscha has explored the role of language in painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and bookmaking through a singular, sometimes oblique use of words.  From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, he honed his distinctive drawing practice to create some of the most compelling works of his career. The text drawings from this period, exquisitely rendered in pastel, dry pigment, gunpowder, and various edible substances, from spinach to Pepto-Bismol, bridge the spirited Pop art for which Ruscha first gained renown with the cerebral Conceptualism to which his work was essential.

The exhibition features a decade of drawings (1974–1984) and one work on paper from 1986, in which Ruscha reintroduces the element of illusionary space—a shift to another stage of his drawing practice.

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 66–8PM

Start Date

May 6, 2017

End Date

June 30, 2017


10:00 AM - 06:00 PM


Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Ave, New York, NY

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