Sylvielin's Blog

Two Photographers : Ed Ruscha & Craigie Horsfield

Posted in about Photography by sylvielin on May 3, 2010

During the first trimester of 2005, the major exhibitions in Jeu de Paume in Paris present two photographers with very different backgrounds and styles. One is American Ed Ruscha whose work is centred on the city of Los Angeles and focuses on the intrinsic banality of contemporary metropolis, persisting in challenging the then prevailing artistic trends and in transgressing categorization. The other is British Cragie Horsfield who ever lived in Poland. His work is deeply rooted in his experience of and contemplation over Europe’s modern history and contains spiritual and philosophical depth.〔Extract from the original text〕

Absurd City in America

The poster of Ruscha’s exhibition outside of Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2005. Photo: Sylvie Lin.

Ed Ruscha1937~was born and grows up in Oklahoma city in the central-southern part of the U.S. In 1956, he entered the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and studied under minimalist artist Robert Irwin. Taking painting as his major occupation, he also learned illustration, graphic design, photography and art history. The exhibition of Marcel Duchamp held in Los Angeles in 1963 has great influence on him, making him take a critical distance with objects in making works.
Since the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, Ruscha began to make photographs which are mostly snapshots made with amateur even mechanic approaches(’Stop the car; get off the car ; press the shutter’, as he described it. He thinks that photography allows him to see the ‘two-dimensionality of things’, which afterwards will become the inspirations and materials for his painting. His earliest series of photographs were taken during a road trip around Europe which traversed Paris, Austria, Venice, etc. These images are tinted with the qualities of Eugène Atget and Robert Frankespecially ‘The Americans’ made in 1958.

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