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A Serigraph Edition by Ed Ruscha: “Zoot Soot (Dedicated to the memory of Richard Duardo)”

Modern Multiples presents a 35-color serigraph by contemporary American artist, Ed Ruscha.

“It’s not artist-makes-print, but rather artist-and-printer-make-print.” 

-Ed Ruscha

“Keep that. Keep that. Keep that…” Ed Ruscha and the Modern Multiples team met in Ruscha’s L.A. studio in June to look over proofs for his latest screen print edition “Zoot Soot (Dedicated to the memory of Richard Duardo)”. Production on the 35 color screen print edition started immediately. This graphic edition proved to be ambitious; Ruscha’s previous record for most color layers in a printed work has been somewhere between 13 color layers, we were told by his studio assistant. Ruscha’s unique concept to replicate a handmade paper for the image demanded a high level rendering to achieve the pulpy uneven texture of the handmade paper from 2015.

The Inspiration:

Just after LA art icon Richard Duardo‘s passing Ed Ruscha designed a die cut edition in half inch thick handmade paper in 2015 and dedicated it to Richard. Pressed at Aardvark Letterpress the edition’s cut-out letters read “ZOOT SOOT” and sold out almost immediately through Bert Green Fine Art.

Now in 2019, this new edition by Ruscha of the same design builds layer by layer the image of hand made paper via the screen printing process. The negative space within the letters now contains palm trees and a clear blue sky. Subtraction and addition; one edition is a cut-out, the other is a layer-on. Two opposites each for their respective editions honor Duardo the pop artist master printer and rave scene pioneer- an artist whose career travels in many directions.

“Zoot Soot (Dedicated to the memory of Richard Duardo)”, 2019

– 35-Color Serigraph

– 15” x 16.75” (paper), 9.75” x 12.25” (image)

– Edition of 40

– Saunders Waterford W/C, White, 200lb HP, 425gsm

– Hand Deckled finish

– Modern Multiples Studio Chop

– Hi-res image available upon request

Thanks to the excellent relationship between Bert Green Fine Art, Ed Ruscha’s studio, and the team at Modern Multiples, this second interpretation of “Zoot Soot” is executed in consultation with Bert Green Fine Art.

This fact is instrumental in the narrative of this edition because the 35 color layers printed with hand mixed inks recreate in stunning 3-dimensionality a photograph of one of the “Zoot Soot” impressions from the 2015 edition. Mr. Ruscha then modified the photo with iconic L.A. palm trees and blue sky, and submitted it to Modern Multiples for proofing. A BAT (“Bon á Tirer”, or “good to pull”) was signed upon our very first presentation of proofs!

We are very proud of and humbled by the narrative behind this artwork and hope that you, too, may appreciate its significance in contemporary art. Higher resolution images are available upon request.