TABLE OF CONTENTS

interviews

1000 WORDS: ED RUSCHA

PERHAPS THEY WOULD PREFER to forget the past and enjoy the present (whose transience they are so much more aware of than younger colleagues), but circumstances conspire to make successful artists of a certain age dwell on their history: retrospective exhibitions, monographs, compilations of writings and interviews, the queries of art historians for whom each speck of memory might be the one that yields a dissertation chapter—such things make it inevitable that, willy-nilly, the artist finds his own past increasingly occupying his attention. I DON’T WANT NO RETRO SPECTIVE, an Ed Ruscha drawing once complained. But of course the artist has had his share. Making the best of the situation, Ruscha has lately been using his earlier work as source material. For his exhibition at the United States pavilion at the Fifty-first Venice Biennale in 2005, he accordingly presented no retrospective,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 2008 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.