RUSCHA, Ed. (Joel Fisher). Six Hands and a Cheese Sandwich.

(No place): Privately Printed, 1971. First edition. Artists book comprising 5 single sheets measuring approx 28cm by 21.5cm folded to form a small booklet measuring 11cm by 14cm. Attributed to Ed Ruscha, the volume is actually by Joel Fisher. In 1962 Ruscha published his first artist book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations under his own imprint, National Excelsior Press. Initially, the book received a poor reception, rejected by the Library of Congress for its “unorthodox form and supposed lack of information.” However, during the sixties it acquired cult status, and by the eighties it was hailed as one of the first truly modern artist’s books. Ruscha followed up Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1962) with a succession of kindred publications, including Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965), Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass (1968), and Real Estate Opportunities (1970), all of which combined the literalness of early California pop art with a deadpan photographic aesthetic informed by minimalist sequence and seriality. Ruscha’s artist books have proved to be deeply influential, inspiring a number of homages, pastiches and mimicry, many showing how appropriation can evolve into innovation. This is one of the earliest, and most sought after homages to Ed Ruscha. A near fine copy.  Rare, with OCLC recording a single copy, at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).


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