Ed Ruscha, ‘Zero Xero’, 1982, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

This work will be included in a forthcoming volume of Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Works on Paper, edited by Lisa Turvey.

From the Catalogue

Sterling Ruby: For me, your work represents the perfect balance of the apocalypse and serenity. It's almost like it's symbolizing some sort of dichotic meditation on existence. Do you think that's a wrong reading?

Ed Ruscha: I guess I'm a cynic and am able to spot the dark sides of life and of where I am in the whole swim of things and this city. In terms of the city representing whatever it does, I always thought, "What do you do out here? You chase rainbows." I see the positives but I also see the dark side. I don't mind commenting on it either. I'm not directly attempting to communicate with a political stance or a philosophical stance. These things just come to me, and I feel like I've got to hammer them out in stone and make them official by getting them down. So I guess that's why I got into words in that particular way." —Ed Ruscha in conversation with Sterling Ruby, Interview Magazine, 7 September 2016

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: signed and dated 1982

Paris, Foundation Cartier, Azur, May - September 1993

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Steven and Ann Ames, New York
Sotheby's, New York, 9 November 1989, Lot 300 (consigned by the above)
Private Collection, Switzerland (acquired from the above sale)
Christie's, New York, 11 November 2004, Lot 218
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

About Ed Ruscha

Despite being credited with a Pop sensibility, Ed Ruscha defies categorization with his diverse output of photographic books and tongue-in-cheek photo-collages, paintings, and drawings. Ruscha’s work is inspired by the ironies and idiosyncrasies of life in Los Angeles, which he often conveys by placing glib words and phrases from colloquial and consumerist usage atop photographic images or fields of color. Known for painting and drawing with unusual materials such as gunpowder, blood, and Pepto Bismol, Ruscha draws attention to the deterioration of language and the pervasive cliches in pop culture, illustrated by his iconic 1979 painting I Don’t Want No Retro Spective. “You see this badly done on purpose, but the badly-done-on-purpose thing was done so well that it just becomes, let’s say, profound,” he once said. Equally renowned were his photographic books, in which he transferred the deadpan Pop style into series of images of LA—apartments, palm trees, or Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1962), his most famous work.

American, b. 1937, Omaha, Nebraska, based in Los Angeles, California