Ed Ruscha: REJECTED!


Artforum. March, 1964.
[with Ed Ruscha's advertisement for Twentysix Gasoline Stations]  

For a period of a couple years in the mid-1960s when Artforum was based in Los Angeles the magazine’s offices were in the same building where Ed Ruscha had his studio. Ruscha, who had trained as a commercial artist, occasionally worked for the magazine doing layout and design (he would appear under the name “Eddie Russia” on the masthead of a few issues). In the early years Artforum was perpetually on the edge of financial insolvency so in the March, 1964 issue Ruscha took advertising space in lieu of payment and used it to promote the first of his celebrated artists’ books, Twentysix Gasoline Stationswhich he had published a few months earlier. The ad offers the book for $3 a copy.  Upon publication Ruscha had sent a copy for inclusion in the Library of Congress’s collection, but the librarian who reviewed the submission, apparently nonplussed, declined to accept it and the book was returned. Ruscha, who has said that he wants his art to elicit a response of "Huh? Wow!", was delighted at this reaction and so his ad touts the book's "REJECTED" status as a primary selling point.  

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