Alexandra Schwartz

Alexandra Schwartz is the editor of a collection of Ed Ruscha's writings, Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages (MIT Press, 2002) and the coeditor of Modern Women: Women Artists in the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art.

  • Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles

    Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles

    Alexandra Schwartz

    The first critical examination of the groundbreaking work of the artist who exemplifies West Coast cool.

    Ed Ruscha was born in Nebraska and raised in Oklahoma, but he belongs to Los Angeles in a way that few other artists do. Since the 1960s, Ruscha's iconic images of the cityscape and culture of Los Angeles—freeway gas stations, parking lots, palm trees, motels, swimming pools, and billboards—have both reflected and shaped popular perceptions of Hollywood and the city that surrounds it.

    In Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles, Alexandra Schwartz views Ruscha's groundbreaking early work as a window onto the radically shifting cultural and political landscape in which it was produced. Schwartz examines Ruscha's diverse body of work, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, books, and films, and discusses his relationship with other artists—including John Altoon, Ed Kienholz, Billy Al Bengston, and Dennis Hopper, all of them associated with the famous Ferus Gallery—with whom he sparked the movement known as West Coast pop. She also explores his links to the mainstream film industry, then evolving into the experimental New Hollywood of the late 1960s and early 1970s; his association with emerging discourse on L.A. architecture and urbanism; and his participation in the politics of the L.A. art world, where his presentation and self-marketing reflected contemporary attitudes toward gender, race, and class.

    Despite Ruscha's fame, this is the first comprehensive critical consideration of his art, and the first to consider it in the context of L.A.'s tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. It shows how Ruscha, borrowing from and critiquing the methods and myths of Hollywood, forged a new paradigm of the artist as a popular culture scribe—a soothsayer for the entertainment age.

    • Hardcover $36.95 £30.00
  • Leave Any Information at the Signal

    Leave Any Information at the Signal

    Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages

    Alexandra Schwartz and Ed Ruscha

    An anthology of writings, interviews, and images by artist Ed Ruscha.

    Ed Ruscha is among the most innovative artists of the last forty years. He is also one of the first Americans to introduce a critique of popular culture and an examination of language into the visual arts. Although he first made his reputation as a painter, Ruscha is also celebrated for his drawings (made both with conventional materials and with food, blood, gunpowder, and shellac), prints, films, photographs, and books. He is often associated with Los Angeles as a Pop and Conceptualist hub, but tends to regard such labels with a satirical, if not jaundiced, eye. Indeed, his work is characterized by the tensions between high and low, solemn and irreverent, and serious and nonsensical, and it draws on popular culture as well as Western art traditions. Leave Any Information at the Signal not only documents the work of this influential artist as he rose to prominence but also contains his writings and commentaries on other artistic developments of the period.

    The book is divided into three parts, each of which is arranged chronologically. Part one contains statements, letters, and other writings. Part two consists of more than fifty interviews, some of which have never before been published or translated into English. Part three contains sketchbook pages, word groupings, and other notes that chart how Ruscha develops ideas and solves artistic problems. They are published here for the first time. The book also contains more than eighty illustrations, selected and arranged by the artist.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00