Shop > Artists' Books


Various Small Books

Ed Ruscha
MIT Press
Artists' Books
16 × 23.5 × 2.8 cm

In the 1960s and 1970s, the artist Ed Ruscha created a series of small photo-conceptual artist’s books, among them Twentysix Gas Stations, Various Small Fires, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Real Estate Opportunities, and A Few Palm Trees. Featuring mundane subjects photographed prosaically, with idiosyncratically deadpan titles, these “small books” were sought after, collected, and loved by Ruscha’s fans and fellow artists. Over the past thirty years, close to 100 other small books that appropriated or paid homage to Ruscha’s have appeared throughout the world. This book collects ninety-one of these projects, showcasing the cover and sample layouts from each along with a description of the work. It also includes selections from Ruscha’s books and an appendix listing all known Ruscha book tributes.

These small books revisit, imitate, honor, and parody Ruscha in form, content, and title. Some rephotograph his subjects: Thirtyfour Parking Lots, Forty Years Later. Some offer a humorous variation: Various Unbaked Cookies (which concludes, as did Ruscha’s Various Small Fires, with a glass of milk), Twentynine Palms (twenty-nine photographs of palm-readers’ signs). Some say something different: None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip. Some reach for a connection with Ruscha himself: 17 Parked Cars in Various Parking Lots Along Pacific Coast Highway Between My House and Ed Ruscha’s.

With his books, Ruscha expanded the artist’s field of permissible subjects, approaches, and methods. With VARIOUS SMALL BOOKS, various artists pay tribute to Ed Ruscha and extend the legacy of his books.

  1. Various Small Books

Related Items

  1. Bernhard Cella: collecting books
  2. Bernhard Cella: collecting books
  3. Materializing Six Years: Lucy Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art
  4. Alternative Histories: New York Art Spaces, 1960-2010
  5. The Global Contemporary and the Rise of New Art Worlds
  6. Yoko Ono and Joan Rothfuss: Topless Cellist: The Improbable Life of Charlotte Moorman
  7. Amy Brandt: Interplay
  8. Sexuality
  9. Screen Ecologies
  10. Laura U. Marks: Enfoldment and Infinity
  11. Felicity D. Scott: Outlaw Territories
  12. Eric Doeringer: Records (After Ed Ruscha)
  13. Mike Kelley: Minor Histories
  14. Arnaud Desjardin: The Book on Books on Artists’ Books
  15. Ed Panar: Salad Days
  16. Jonathan Monk: In Relief (my collection of Sol LeWitt books - exact size, shape and occasionally colour), 2015
  17. David Horvitz: How To Shoplift Books
  18. Galia Pasternak: Clips
  19. Luca Antonucci and Daniel Small: Present Perfect
  20. Sara MacKillop: Ex-Library Book
  21. Steve Kado, Amy Lam, and Jon McCurley: My Topics
  22. Andrea Fraser: Museum Highlights
  23. Annmarie Chandler and Norie Neumark: At a Distance
  24. Toronto Builds
  25. Construction Hoarding
  26. NSK from Kapital to Capital
  27. Ariel Dill and Denise Schatz: Book of Books
  28. Oded Naaman: Journal of Absence
  29. ............. book
  30. Eric Doeringer: Real Estate Opportunities