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Ed Ruscha, Doric, 1996

Acrylic on canvas. 137.2 by 101.6 cm. (54 x 40 in).   Signed and dated 'Ed Ruscha 1996' on the reverse; titled 'Doric' on the overlap; signed, titled and dated 'Ed Ruscha Doric 1996' on the stretcher. This work will be included in the forthcoming Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume Five: 1993-1997, edited by Robert Dean and Lisa Turvey. Est. £250,000-350,000

PROVENANCE James Corcoran Gallery, New York; Private Collection, New York; Max Lang Gallery, New York; Collection of Mark Neuberger, New York

NOTE Ed Ruscha's dramatic 1996 painting entitled Doric belongs to a body of work influenced by the secondary effects of light. As the title suggests, the silhoutte of an ancient Greek temple forms the subject of the present lot. Executed in nuances of black, blue and white, Ruscha was influenced by the Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline. "I remember this notion I had in school about Franz Kline, thinking how great it was that this man only worked with black and white. I thought at some point in my life I would also work with black and white, and here it is."(Ed Ruscha as quoted in R. D.Marshall, Ed Ruscha, NewYork, p. 210)

In contrast to Franz Kline's vigorous brushstrokes however, Ruscha's "intent is to produce a flat, photographic finish.The dark paintings came mostly from photography, although they are not photographically done or anything. I feel that they are related to the subject of photography.They are dark and strokeless.They're painted with an airbrush." (Ibid, p. 211) Another artist influenced by photography is Andy Warhol whose Shadow paintings immediately come to mind when viewing Ed Ruscha's Doric. In fact both Ruscha and Warhol share a common desire evident throughout their oeuvre to depict negative space as a sacred, ephemeral force.The stillness and calm of Ruscha's Doric, likeWarhol's Shadows, hints at therepresentation of the divine.

Philips de Pury & Company. Contempory Art Evenig Sale. Juen 29 2009 London. www.phillipsdepury.com