November 15, 2018
Ed Ruscha in conversation with Kasper König
For six decades, the American West and Los Angeles have provided Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) with the motifs he immortalizes in paintings, photographic series, and artist’s books. Taken together, his sizable and diverse oeuvre constitutes nothing less than a portrait of a nation. With his clear-eyed and impersonal take on architecture, landscapes, and language, he has earned worldwide renown as one of the most influential contemporary artists of his generation. Defying conventional stylistic categories, his work unites pop and conceptual art with a Dadaist embrace of the absurd.
In his exhibition at the Secession, Ruscha looks back on the history of his own oeuvre, focusing on the depictions of the American flag he created between 1985 and 2017. The show also brings the public debut of a new series of tondi—some of them executed on original parchment drumheads—inscribed with American colloquial locutions.
Kasper König (b. 1943) organized exhibitions by artists such as Claes Oldenburg (1966) and Andy Warhol (1968) at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and edited numerous publications. In 1985, he was appointed to the newly established chair for “art and the public” at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts. In Frankfurt, where he was made rector of the Städelschule in 1989, he founded the exhibition space Portikus. Major exhibitions he curated included Westkunst in Cologne (1981), von hier aus in Düsseldorf (1984), and Der zerbrochene Spiegel in Vienna and Hamburg (1993). Kasper König has been artistic director of the decennial Skulptur Projekte Münster since the inaugural exposition in 1977 and was director of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, from 2000 until 2012. He also curated the 10th edition of the roving European biennial Manifesta in Saint Petersburg in 2014 and Der Schatten der Avantgarde at the Folkwang Museum, Essen, in 2015.
An event by the Friends of the Secession.