Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages

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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 AnyInformation 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This delightful book is as much artistic biography as cultural history." Barbara A.


"This year the book I most enjoyed reading...is Ed Ruscha's Leave Any Information at the Signal." ARTFORUM

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262681520
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Series: October Books
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 861,600
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandra Schwartz is the editor of a collection of Ed Ruscha's writings, Leave AnyInformation 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 ModernArt.

Ed Ruscha is an internationally acclaimed artist based in Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 Writings 1
Statement in "West Coast Style': Something about Los Angeles" 3
Statement in "The Artist and Politics: A Symposium" 4
"Some of the '654 Things ...' List" 6
Statement in Henry Hopkins, 50 West Coast Artists 10
Statement in "Picasso: A Symposium" 12
A Proposal by Edward Ruscha for the Circular Ring and for the Lunettes of the New Miami-Dade Public Library, April 1985 14
A Proposal by Edward Ruscha for the Archway Lunettes of the Second and Third Floors of the Miami-Dade Public Library, April 1987 16
"The Witness" 18
Statement in "What Artists Like about the Art They Like When They Don't Know Why" 19
Pt. 2 Interviews 21
"Concerning Various Small Fires: Edward Ruscha Discusses His Perplexing Publications" 23
"From Common Scenes, Mr. Ruscha Evokes Art" 28
"Ed Ruscha Discusses His Latest Work with Christopher Fox" 30
Interview with Titia Tybout, May 27, 1971 34
"Art: Interview with Ed Ruscha" 35
"Ruscha as Publisher [or All Booked Up]" 40
"'My Books End Up in the Trash'" 46
"'I'm Not Really a Photographer'" 51
"Words with Ruscha" 55
"'...A Kind of a Huh?': An Interview with Edward Ruscha" 64
"Feature Interview: Edward Ruscha" 73
"A Conversation with Ed Ruscha" 82
Interview with Edward Ruscha in His Western Avenue, Hollywood Studio 92
"Ed Ruscha: An Interview" 210
L.A. Suggested by the Art of Edward Ruscha 220
"Ed Ruscha, Young Artist: Dead Serious about Being Nonsensical" 225
"Catching Up with Ed Ruscha" 238
"A Conversation with Edward Ruscha" 242
An Excerpt from "Art: L.A.R.T.: Edward Ruscha" 247
"Interview with Edward Ruscha" 250
"Premeditated: An Interview with Ed Ruscha" 252
"A Few Words with Ed Ruscha" 257
"Ed Ruscha: Goodbye to Vistas and All That" 259
"Ed Ruscha" 262
"Rebel with a Canvas: Ed Ruscha's Original Art Is Drawing Attention" 269
"The Sentimental Musical Tastes of Ed Ruscha" 272
"Ed Ruscha" 274
"Ed Ruscha" 281
"Hot Property" 286
"An Interview with Edward Ruscha" 288
"The Last Word" 296
"Conversation with Ed Ruscha" 300
"Getting a Read on Ed Ruscha" 309
"A Conversation between Walter Hopps and Edward Ruscha, Who Have Known Each Other Since the Early 1960s, Took Place on September 26, 1992" 312
"An Interview with Ed Ruscha," June 17, 1994 329
"Pronounce His Name Rew-shay" 332
"Panoramic Art at Library Elusive but Impressive" 336
"Library Muralist Slow to Praise..." 338
"Art Museum, Library to Feature 'Word' According to Ruscha" 339
"Hollywood Decks the Halls: Ed Ruscha" 341
"The Return of a Native Son: Painter Ed Ruscha Resurfaces in L.A." 342
"Confession in Chelsea" 344
"Lightening Up the Getty" 345
"From Ruscha with Light" 353
"Seeing Things Age Is a Form of Beauty: A Conversation with Ed Ruscha" 355
"Collecting Our Thoughts" 361
"The Weather of Prints: An Interview with Edward Ruscha," July 16, 1998 362
Conversation with Edward Ruscha in His Studio, Venice, California, October 29, 1999 370
"Profile: The Paintings of Ed Ruscha" 379
Pt. 3 Bits and Pages 383
Notes 431
Additional Sources 437
Credits 441
Index 447
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