Ed Ruscha - Brother, Sister, 1987. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 in. UBS Art Collection © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian

  • The New York presentation includes two major paintings not previously seen in the touring exhibition
  • This group of works will be shown together in New York for the last time before returning to UBS offices around the world

New York, 23 September 2019 – The UBS Art Collection presents an exhibition of works by iconic American artist Ed Ruscha at the new UBS Art Gallery at 1285 Avenue of the Americas from September 23, 2019 to January 10, 2020. Ruscha's work is represented in depth in the Collection with fifty-six paintings, works on paper and prints that span the first four decades of his career and include some of his most seminal images. This group was recently featured in a traveling exhibition that originated at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark with an accompanying catalogue published by Hatje Cantz. Two large-scale paintings not previously included in the exhibition will be showcased. The works will be shown together for the last time before returning to UBS offices around the world.

Ruscha's oeuvre is not easily confined to any one category. With his deadpan, West Coast attitude and wry sense of humor, Ruscha adds a more conceptual edge to Pop art. Since the late 1950s, words and phrases have played a central role in his practice. References to trademarks, exploration of fonts and typography, as well as the use of oblique perspectives and flat, commercial style are evidence of his early training in the advertising industry. He also experimented with unexpected materials including gunpowder, Vaseline and organic substances such as caviar, strawberries and chocolate syrup.

Ruscha's work cannot be considered without the context of his adopted hometown of Los Angeles. Mountainous landscapes, sunsets, gasoline stations and motifs from Hollywood and the film industry repeatedly appear in his compositions including several works in the exhibition depicting the famed Hollywood sign that the artist could see from his studio.

Mary Rozell, Global Head UBS Art Collection, states: “Ed Ruscha is among America’s most recognized and influential living artists. The UBS Art Collection is fortunate to have a significant body of works by Ruscha, a concentration unsurpassed by that of any other artist and one that greatly enhances its distinctive character. In retrospect, Ruscha’s work is not without a certain nostalgia for the pre-digital age of ubiquitous signage, the seduction of nascent Hollywood and vanishing totems of the American lifestyle."

UBS launched the UBS Art Gallery earlier this year in the renovated public lobby space at the firm's New York headquarters. The Gallery will feature up to four exhibitions per year. Beginning in 2020, the UBS Art Collection also plans to partner with external arts organizations, institutions and non-profits for additional programming.

Throughout the lobby, permanent installations of large-scale works from the Collection will be on display. Among the works on view are a parabolic lens by Light and Space artist Fred Eversley; a cut-out photograph inspired by Roy Lichtenstein's interiors by Jose Dávila, a life-size sculpture of a woman in black patinated bronze by Julian Opie; and a polychromatic metal relief by Frank Stella from his Moby Dick series.

Works on display highlight the Collection's unique heritage, which includes important artist commissions and UBS’s longstanding history of collaborating with living artists throughout their careers. Among them are Sarah Morris's redesign of a monumental wall painting, which is over 42 feet long and directly faces Avenue of the Americas, originally created as an on-site installation at a former UBS building in Zurich in 2001; and a chromo-kinetic sculpture by Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez that was once part of an architectural intervention in the Union Bank of Switzerland building in Zurich in 1975.

The UBS Art Collection presents works in the UBS lounges at Art Basel fairs, which UBS has supported as Global Lead Partner for the past 26 years, organizes exhibitions at international cultural institutions and actively lends works to major art museums, making them available to the public. The Collection is at the core of the firm's commitment to contemporary art with over 30,000 paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, video and installations by artists from over 70 countries. UBS has been collecting for over 60 years and its mission is to collect thought-provoking work by the most dynamic and important artists of our time.

Notes to Editors

Visit the exhibition at the UBS Art Gallery, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, USA.

‘Ed Ruscha VERY: Works from the UBS Art Collection’ on view from September 23, 2019 – January 10, 2020. Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 7:00am – 6:00pm.

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About UBS

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About UBS and Contemporary Art

UBS has a long history of supporting contemporary art and artists. The firm has one of the world’s largest and most important corporate art collections and seeks to advance the international conversation about the art market through its global lead partnership with Art Basel and as co-publisher of the ‘Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report'. UBS also has partnerships with fine art institutions including the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the Deichtorhallen in Germany, the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia. UBS provides its clients with insight into the art market, collecting and legacy planning through its Art Collectors Circle and the UBS Art Competence Center. The UBS Arts Forum convenes and connects exceptional people in the art world, providing thought leadership at the cutting edge of contemporary art.

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