Ed Ruscha: Every Building on the Sunset Strip
In pristine condition, this copy of the first edition of Ed Ruscha’s self-published artist’s book Every Building on the Sunset Strip is encased in its original mylar-backed slipcase and belly band. Printed with offset lithography in 1966, it is a milestone in the history of artist’s books. Designed as a single accordion-folded sheet that when fully opened stretches out to a length of almost 25 feet, the book presents a photographic panorama of both sides of the iconic Los Angeles boulevard. An address number is printed under each building, together with the names of cross streets.
To create the book, Ruscha photographed Sunset Boulevard with a mechanized camera mounted in the back of a pickup truck, driving two miles down the street and back. In doing so, he documents the topography of vernacular architecture, shot straight on and thereby eliminating the conventional compositional choices of artistic photography. Recalling the experience of automotive travel so integral to life in Los Angeles, Ruscha’s deadpan approach also suggests the systematic logic of Minimalism and Conceptual art. Since publishing Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Ruscha has returned to the project, regularly photographing Sunset Boulevard and other areas of Los Angeles to form an archive of urban transformations over time.