The Art Of Ed Ruscha

David Platzker at Artforum:

Ruscha’s avant-garde proclivities surfaced in his first pagework as a member of the group Students Five, a collective of friends—Joe Good, Jerry McMillan (both high-school classmates of Ruscha’s), Patrick Blackwell, Don Moore, and later Wall Batterton. Their mailer/bulletin, Orb,9 published in seven issues between 1959 and 1960 by Chouinard’s Society of Graphic Designers, contained an amalgam of cartoons, collages, graphic experiments, texts, and exhibition announcements. Ruscha edited and laid out the issues on a single seventeen-by-twenty-two-inch sheet, printing it recto-verso in an elaborate overlapping two-color system and folding it six times down for dissemination through the mail. Commenting on the genesis of Orb’s design, Ruscha would say, “I pasted the thing up and I maybe was thinking in the back of my head, Dada, ’cause they kind of echo a lot of the things that the Dadaists were doing. Things can be upside down, they don’t have to be orderly, you don’t have to have a proper well-behaved page line.”

more here.