John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha

National City/Archi-props
June 7th – July 25th

Press Release

Richard Levy Gallery is pleased to present two portfolios, National City by John Baldessari and Archi-Props, by Ed Ruscha. Both artists have worked as pioneers of aesthetic innovation over the past 6 decades and define California conceptualism. The two portfolios are informed by Southern Californian culture and combine narrative images with the associative power of language through photographs, paint, texts and print.

John Baldessari created National City from 1996 through 2009. The portfolio consists of eight color photographs embellished with Baldessari’s iconic hand-painted acrylic circles – each in a varied grayscale tone. Counter to his frequent use of vernacular photography, the images are snapshots of familiar routes taken by the artist in his hometown National City, located just south of San Diego. The exquisitely executed painted circles are applied directly to the photos and obscure arbitrary information in each scene. Baldessari’s work has been shown in more than 120 solo exhibitions and 300 group exhibitions at prominent galleries and museums worldwide and is in numerous permanent collections.The Tate Modern recently hosted a retrospective of Baldessari’s work that traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Appearing as set pieces for the modern city, Ed Ruscha’s Archi-props is suite of 8 powdery gray lithographs portraying nondescript spaces of urban architecture. The banal images depict sparse facades with signage indicating a telephone booth, a library, an upholstery shop and additional commercial spaces relating to car culture.The Archi-props portfolio is from an edition of 20. Although most were divided and sold as individual prints, complete sets can be found in collections such as the Walker Art Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation. Ruscha’s move to LA in 1956 prompted his use of local design and landscapes throughout his body of work. He currently lives in the Los Angeles area and is regarded as one of the most influential artists working today.

High-resolution images are available on request. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook: @levygallery 

Dates: June 7–July 25, 2014
Reception: June 7, 6–8 pm
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
Location: 514 Central Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Contact: 505.766.9888,, @levygallery

Artwork and Information
John Baldessari

Ed Ruscha