Lot 1
  • 1

ED RUSCHA (B. 1937) | Vowel #78 (A), 1996

12,000 - 18,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Ed Ruscha (b. 1937)
  • Vowel #78 (A), 1996
  • painted book
  • Book: 4 1/2 by 4 by 1 in. (11.4 by 10.2 by 2.5 cm.); Case: 6 1/4 by 6 1/4 by 3 3/4 in. (15.9 by 15.9 by 9.5 cm.)
acrylic on book cover; signed and dated 'Aug, 24, 1996' and '1996' on the cover page


AIDS Project, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by the present owner in September 1996


This work is in very good and sound condition overall. There is general wear to the book, visible upon close inspection. There is pinpoint pigment loss to the center of the A. Accompanied by a Plexiglas box and stand.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Catalogue Note

In 1996, Los Angeles based artist Ed Ruscha vowed to create one hundred paintings of vowels on book covers to benefit the AIDS Project in Los Angeles. The AIDS Project is a non-profit organization that provides health care to those battling HIV and AIDS. Ruscha, a passionate typographer, is world renowned for his word paintings as well as his artist books such as ‘Twentysix Gasoline Stations.’ By placing a singular letter on a book cover, Ruscha’s ‘Vowel’ series transports and transcends the perceived boundaries between literature, the written word, and art.