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‘Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha’

"Various Small Books" by Ed Ruscha

"Various Small Books" by Ed Ruscha

Some 50 years ago the enigmatic artist Ed Ruscha started what might be considered a joke. On a road trip in 1956, he took snapshots of filling stations along Route 66 and created his first book, “Twentysix Gasoline Stations,” the first in a series of photo books that influenced ideas about art. Scores of artists in various countries took their cue from him, producing, among many others, “Nineteen Potted Palms” and “Various Studios & Homes Inhabited by Ed Ruscha.” Close to 100 of these books are represented in “Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha” (MIT), edited and compiled by Jeff Brouws, Wendy Burton, and Hermann Zschiegner.   JAN GARDNER

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