Ed Ruscha: Eilshemius & Me
This book was published on the occasion of Ed Ruscha: Eilshemius & Me, an exhibition of works by Ed Ruscha and Louis Michel Eilshemius (1864–1941) at Gagosian, Davies Street, London.
Ruscha’s Spied Upon Scene series of paintings, begun in 2017, depicts majestic mountainscapes resembling the idyllic ranges of travel books, adventure movies, or the Paramount Pictures logo. These vistas, visible through oval-shaped lenses or window grids, seem to refer to the nineteenth-century tradition of picturing the American Sublime. In fact, their lineage includes an obscure American painter from the turn of the century, Louis Michel Eilshemius, whose use of painted frames influenced Ruscha’s approach.
This book is the first to examine the connection between these two artists. It features an interview with Ruscha by Leta Grzan and Viet-Nu Nguyen, and an essay by Margaret Iversen, which together explain how Eilshemius’s enigmatic paintings captured Ruscha’s imagination.