Picturing distance: Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles photobooks

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Ed Ruscha's photobooks create a deliberate type of low-key provocation the artist has referred to as a type of “Huh?” – a presentation of the American landscape in a book format that makes it very difficult to locate unambiguous cues for meaning or clear affect in the photographs. This essay lays out an extended reading of the notion of “distance” as uniting these photobooks in their physicality, in the ways in which the postwar industrial landscape of Los Angeles is presented to the viewer obliquely, and in the cooled manner of affect that was so influential for later artists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-491
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of American Studies
Issue number3
Early online date14 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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