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Ed Ruscha, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Industrial Strength Sleep (detail), 2007. Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry. 109.5 x 276 inches. 
Ed Ruscha, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Industrial Strength Sleep, 2007. Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry. 109.5 x 276 inches.

Ed Ruscha, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Industrial Strength Sleep (detail), 2007. Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry. 109.5 x 276 inches.
Ed Ruscha, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Industrial Strength Sleep (detail), 2007. Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry. 109.5 x 276 inches.
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Ed Ruscha, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Industrial Strength Sleep, 2007. Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry. 109.5 x 276 inches.
x
Ed Ruscha, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Industrial Strength Sleep (detail), 2007. Merino wool, cotton, and Trevira CS tapestry. 109.5 x 276 inches.
x

Ed Ruscha

INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH SLEEP is a massive 9 by 23 foot tapestry based upon his 1989 painting of the same name. Woven at Flanders Tapestries in Belgium, the work marks a new chapter in Ruscha's storied career as his initial foray into use of fiber as a medium. Ruscha's expansive canvases with their superimposed text are often associated with conceptions of West Coast landscapes as well as allusion to film and Hollywood's golden age. Though the cinematic scale is still in effect with INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH SLEEP, for this project Ruscha wanted to return to an earlier work that seemed both an appropriate fit for debut in Philadelphia and for revisiting via the process of weaving. He conjured notions of East Coast industry in its mid-20th Century prime and landscapes once dotted with factories, much of which is now neglected or has vanished as a result of gentrification.

In addition, the piece itself is quite literally the industrial product of a modern business that has integrated computer-assisted weaving technology with traditional aesthetics of the medium. No longer just a luxury ornament and symbol of princely power commissioned by European royalty, contemporary artists have embraced tapestry as another means for expanding the possibilities of their creative output.


Bio
Born 1937.
Ed Ruscha is a world-renowned American artist who works with an array of media, including paint, print, photography, video, food and other household items, and now, fiber. After moving to Los Angeles and graduation from Chouinard Art Institute, Ruscha first gained widespread attention with his inclusion among other Pop Artists in the genre-defining "New Paintings of Common Objects" show in 1962 at the Pasadena Art Museum. In 1973 he was included among other well-known contemporary artists shown at the influential Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. Ruscha has since been the subject of traveling retrospectives shown at museums all over the globe, including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1982, The Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989, and The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2000. At present he continues to be active as ever, having represented the United States in the 2005 Venice Bienniale, as well as working on numerous upcoming projects. He currently shows his work with Gagosian Gallery in New York, Beverly Hills, and London.