Ed Ruscha Gives Amazing Christmas Present to Tate

Ruscha will give the museum one copy of every print for the rest of his life.

American artist Ed Ruscha has announced that he will donate one copy of every print he makes for the rest of his life to Tate, making them part of the British national collection.

“It is a great honor to know that Tate will be a home to a collection of my editioned works,” gushed Ruscha in a statement.

What this really means is that one of the world’s most important living artists—and currently the third most expensive living American artist—is making a huge donation which will be available for public museums around the UK to exhibit.

“This is rare and generous commitment, not to mention a wonderful Christmas present to the whole nation,” said Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, in the statement. “These works on paper will be a wonderful resource for future exhibitions here in the UK.”

Phillips-Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha. Porch Crop.
Photo: Courtesy Phillips.

The donation has begun with a selection of 18 recent works, including a pair of landscapes with Ruscha’s trademark superimposed text: Jet Baby (2011) and Wall Rocket (2013). Other works included are We The People (2012), Mark Twain Quote (2012), and That Was Then, This Is Now (2014).

These works have been selected to highlight the inventiveness of Ruscha’s printmaking and his focus on signs, linguistic humor, and his adopted home of sixty years: Los Angeles.

Ed Ruscha, Archi-props, 1993–1997

Ed Ruscha, Archi-props (1993–1997) 82 color lithographs.
Photo: Courtesy  Richard Levy Gallery.

The ever expanding donation will join the seven painting, 23 unique works on paper, and 111 prints by Ruscha that are already part of the Tate collection. Most of these works are part of ARTIST ROOMS, a public collection assembled by dealer, collector, and curator Anthony d’Offay, and jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland.

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