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Ballerina, from the portfolio California



Edward Ruscha

United States of America

16 Dec 1937 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    colour lithograph
    7/75 [edition of 75 plus 10 AP]
    76.0 x 56.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Ed Ruscha 1988".

    Gift of Douglas Kagi 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Ed Ruscha

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Edward Ruscha

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Ed Ruscha is associated with the west coast pop movement of the 1960s and is also recognised for his contribution to the development of American conceptual art. Working across a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and artist books, he is well known for his distinctly Southern Californian subjects.

    In the mid 1980s Ruscha moved away from the text-based imagery he was known for and began a series of wordless, atmospheric works known as the ‘Silhouette’ series. ‘I was tired of brush strokes,’ he said. ‘I wanted something else, I wanted something smoky and difficult to see.’1

    The works in this series are monochromatic, dark and shadowy and feature stencilled silhouetted subjects created using an airbrush. ‘Ballerina’ 1988 is related to a group of silhouette paintings, drawings and prints of the same subject with titles that include ‘Spanish dancer’, ‘Senorita’, ‘Dancer’ and ‘Pacific coast highway’. The print is a three-colour lithograph with stippled background reminiscent of gunshot residue – an affect that recalls Ruscha’s experimentation with gun powder as a drawing medium in the 1970s. The soft, dark form of the dancer in this work suggests an image from memory, partially recalled.

    1. ‘Ed Ruscha: Breaking his own rules’, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2004, sfmoma.org/watch/ed-ruscha-breaking-his-own-rules, accessed XX XXX 2021

Other works by Edward Ruscha

See all 18 works