Studio (E.R.)

photographs by Mark Ruwedel

February 19 – April 30, 2022

Gallery Hours: By Appointment

Reception: Saturday, February 19, 12:00 - 5:00 PM

Presented by GROSSART at

SPACE 1028 | 1028 North Western Avenue – Los Angeles, CA 90029

GROSSART is pleased to present Studio (E.R.), an exhibition of photographs captured and printed by Mark Ruwedel, but all inspired by photographs taken by Ed Ruscha.

First, a quick description of the projects included in this exhibition. With In the Vicinity of a Few Palm Trees (2019), Four More Apartments (2012-2015), and finally Studio (E.R.) (2018) Mark honors one of his favorite artists. In the Vicinity of a Few Palm Trees and Four More Apartments are direct references to Ed’s Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965) and A Few Palm Trees (1971) – In the Vicinity represents the third part of his trilogy paying homage to the art and practice of Ed Ruscha. (Part 1 – We All Loved Ruscha: 15 Apts (Getty); part 2 – Opportunities Realized.)

In Mark’s words:

“My fascination with the photographic books of Ed Ruscha goes back to my student days in the late 1970s. When I moved to southern California about nineteen years ago, Ruscha’s photographs acted as one of the many maps I brought to bear on my new environment. Having been given a Yashicamat twin lens camera (the same type that Ruscha used), I began to look at Los Angeles through the same viewfinder.

To make my “Ruschesque” photographs, I took with me the address of each building but not a copy of the original image: the resulting photographs echo but do not duplicate his. They do, however, share many similarities, due in part to the syntax of the rather limited Yashica, the width of any particular street, qualities of California light, etc. Finally, the work is an homage: there was no real reason to photograph these particular apartment buildings except that they had already been photographed by Ruscha almost fifty years ago.”

Mark Ruwedel, We All Loved Ruscha (15 Apts.), statement for The Getty

With Four More Apartments, Mark continues his project We All Loved Ruscha (2011-12) which consisted of tracking down the apartment buildings Ed chose for his 1965 artist book, with Mark then making contemporary photographs of the same locations. Mark’s Four More Apartments presents photographs of four apartment buildings Ed photographed in the early 60s, but were not included in Mark’s We All Loved Ruscha (Getty collection). (Note: some of Mark’s photographs are not in Ed’s book; he found them in a gallery catalogue).

In Ed’s A Few Palm Trees photographs Ed had removed any reference to the landscape, masking out all but the palm trees featured. Mark followed the “directions” in Ed’s book and photographed the original location, whether or not the same palms were still there (if much taller!); in distinguishing them from Ed’s images, Mark’s prints include the background – as a self-described landscape artist, Mark’s landscapes remain intact.

It is Studio (E.R.), however, where Mark’s fascination with Ed takes a completely new form. For this series of seven (7) photographs, Mark has dutifully researched the exact location (street and address) of many of Ed’s LA studios. He then set himself the task of documenting these rather nondescript buildings… much as he would any of the subjects he captures with his various analog cameras. Much as Ed has done throughout his practice.

While much can be written about each photograph and what inspired it, I will endeavor to keep this statement simple by focusing on what binds these two seemingly disparate artists.

To start, a definition – a direct one: According to the Tate Modern, “Mark Ruwedel is an American landscape photographer.” This quote should always be amended with the following: “My interest in landscape photography came from Robert Adams rather than Ansel Adams.”

In many ways, Ed too addresses the landscape in his work. One only has to conjure his first foray into artist books, : Gasoline Stations (1963), as proof. There is also his Course of Empire and Metro Mattress series. One really has to look no further than his Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) series to find examples of the landscape in Ed’s practice.

Mark loves books. “Since moving to California, I have probably made 100 books, mostly very simple, sometimes with two or three pictures only. Sometimes when I am out in the field, I see something and I think, ‘that could be an interesting little bookwork’ and I will collect images for just that possibility. Other books come from a rethinking of the pictures already in my archive.”

Ed loves books. Artist books. Self-published books. Book art (fore edge painting, etc.). Ed’s been making books since 1963. In fact, those 16 unassuming paperback books (1963-1978) are cited as the first examples of using a basic paperback book format for an esteemed livre d'artiste. Those books have cast a very long shadow. Yep, Ed loves books.

With the above in mind, from one perspective these bodies of work (and by extension this exhibition’s location) seem inevitable.

Continuing in the tradition of Topographic artists like Lewis Baltz, and Bernd and Hilla Becher, Mark captures his work as a series and presents them here in grids. The series and grids establish a rubric in which the differences in the sameness are emphasized. Mark’s work, however, includes a delicious twist in that the sameness of the subjects of these photographs (palm trees and apartments) is overlaid by the changes that have occurred over the time since Ed first took these photographs. With these photographs Mark also captures what was, in a city that famously views all architecture as merely another real estate opportunity.

Both Mark and Ed share a sincere interest in capturing this history of a city without history. For proof, one need look no further than Ed’s ongoing project Every Building on the Sunset Strip or Mark’s recent book, Seventy two and One Half Miles Across Los Angeles (2020). .

Conceptual Art has been defined as one in which the idea holds primacy over the object executed. While both Mark and Ed can be described as Conceptual artists (in a sense), Mark said it best:

“If I am in any way a conceptualist, it is with a small “c.” Conceptual art is a privileging of the idea over the object (or the image), and it is certainly more radical than my practice. But that thinking is a part of what I do.”

Perhaps the Getty Museum put it best in a gallery text used when they exhibited their set of Mark’s We All Loved Ruscha: 15 Apts. in their 2019 exhibition Mapping Space:

“Mark Ruwedel’s series … depicts buildings photographed by the artist Ed Ruscha almost fifty years earlier. Several of these images were published in the book Some Los Angeles Apartments in 1965. Ruscha’s original prints, titled with each building’s address, allowed Ruwedel to pinpoint their locations. He then photographed them with the same detachment that characterized the approach of photographers influenced by Conceptual Art during the 1960s and 1970s. In revisiting the buildings originally documented by Ruscha, an artist whose work set the tone of West Coast Conceptualism, Ruwedel pays homage to the movement and the role of this important figure.”

With a long tradition as an artist studio, SPACE 1028 is especially honored to present these works in the very same space where so much great art has been inspired and created… by so many influential artists, including the aforementioned Ed Ruscha.

A special thanks to Mark Ruwedel, Theresa Luisotti and Natasha Berekoff and, of course, Ed Ruscha.

Mark’s work is presented courtesy of Gallery Luisotti

For all the above, we are grateful.


“Mark Ruwedel.” The Tate (Modern) via Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation. (website)

“Mapping Space.” The Getty Museum, The Getty Foundation. (website)

Mark Ruwedel, Paul Roth, and Dr. Gaëlle Morel, Mark Ruwedel: ScotiaBank Photography Award (Gottingen: Steidl, 2014).

About Mark Ruwedel

Born in Pennsylvania, 1954, Mark Ruwedel lives in Long Beach, California. He received his M.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal in 1983 and taught there from 1984 to 2001; he is currently Professor Emeritus at California State University. In 2014 he was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Scotiabank Photography Award and was short-listed for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize for 2019 and the Prix Pictet in 2021.

Ruwedel is represented in museums throughout the world. Publications include Westward the Course of Empire, 2008, and 1212 Palms, 2010 (Yale Art Gallery); Pictures of Hell, 2014 (Ram Pubs); Mark Ruwedel Scotiabank Photography Award, 2015 (Steidl); Palms/Capri, 2019 (Nazraeli Press), and more. In addition, Ruwedel’s work has been reproduced in over 75 books and catalogues. His work continues to be included in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Mark’s Archive is being housed at Stanford University’s Special Collections Library.

About SPACE 1028

Launched in 2020 expressly for Prints, Raymond. Prints! SPACE 1028 is conceived to be a project space for the unique, the accessible, and the unseen. For the modern art cognoscenti, the East Hollywood address possesses a particularly storied allure. Originally constructed as a shopping mall in 1923 the complex, which still includes several artists’ studios and residences, gained notoriety in the 1960s when the artist Joe Goode, a member of the seminal “Cool School,” rented one of the unoccupied spaces. Soon after, Joe’s friend Ed Ruscha moved in, and he continued living and working in the building for more than 20 years. The area was also host to the studios of seminal artists John Altoon and Wall Batterton, amongst countless others. At the well-traveled crossroads of Western Ave, the 101 Freeway and Santa Monica Blvd (the old route 66), SPACE 1028 is firmly rooted in its history while also serving its community by bringing art that needs to be seen to those who need to see it.


Adam Gross founded GROSSART in 2002 to share light and creativity with the broadest audience after the events of September 11, 2001. After a hiatus of several years while serving at MOCA, launching Art Platform–Los Angeles for LA with The Armory Show (and supporting The Getty’s first Pacific Standard Time), and then running The Lapis Press, Adam is at it again – looking for the unique and independent voices that can make a difference. In 2021 Adam began developing ADLAR, a fine art publishing company that includes Augmented Reality activations with its prints.

For further information, please contact Adam Gross at (213) 595-0263 or

# # # #