Bernard Jacobson Graphics
Bernard Jacobson’s impressive collection of prints by Ed Ruscha will be on display during the IFPDA online fair. The show includes prints Bernard Jacobson has published in the 70s and early 80s as well as prints from his collection as an admirer of Ruscha’s printmaking.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969, publishing and distributing prints by artists including Robyn Denny, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Richard Smith, Ed Ruscha and William Tillyer. By the mid 1970s, having established himself as one of the major dealers in the international print boom, Jacobson began to show paintings and sculpture. The early 1980s saw the gallery open branches in Los Angeles and New York, expanding the range of international artists to include West Coast American artists such as Joe Goode and Larry Bell as well as modern British masters such as David Bomberg, Ivon Hitchens, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, Stanley Spencer, and Graham Sutherland. From 1997, the gallery moved more firmly into American and international art, with shows of artists such as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Frank Stella. From its location in Cork Street and subsequently Duke Street St James’s, the gallery has held shows by the American artists Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, while European painters include Bram Bogart and Pierre Soulages and British artists William Tillyer, Bruce McLean and Marc Vaux.
Made in California, Ed Ruscha, 1971
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It was the winter of 1970 and I visited LA for the first time.
I had made an appointment to meet the coolest artist in town, if not in the country.
I was sitting in Irving Blum’s gallery on La Cienega Avenue, chatting to the delightful receptionist. I told her I had to leave soon, to catch the bus to Ed Ruscha’s studio on North Western Avenue. I asked her where did the bus leave from. “Bus?” she said, “People don’t take buses here. Take my car.” I didn’t even know her name half an hour earlier. “I like LA”, I said to myself. The drive down La Cienega, along Melrose Avenue to North Western was a bit spooky, although I got there in one piece and the Ford Mustang convertible was still also in one piece.
It was love at first sight, not the lovely receptionist. I mean Ed. Although he was as cool as a movie star, he happened to make great art too. We would become great friends.
Ed and I would produce many prints together and I was so proud to be the publisher. Everything but everything was amazing and exotic and cool and so very Californian.
How the images came about or how the words arrived in his head was quite a mystery, even to this day. I can at least tell you of an image and how it came into being. We all were in this Mexican restaurant on Alameda Street, Ed and me, Joe Goode and Larry Bell. We ordered loads of dishes, so we could relax and enjoy this blow-out. And we waited, and waited. And then we waited some more. Where is the food? It did eventually arrive and most of the dishes we ordered were wrong. All the food went back to the kitchen to get the right orders. We leaned back, into our fake leather banquette seats, hungrier but optimistic. Ed pulled out a sheet of paper from his pocket and wrote “I’m Amazed.” Actually we all were amazed, although I was even more amazed when Ed passed the piece of paper to me and said, “Here, Bernie, this is your print for that Big Print portfolio you are doing.”
The Californian artist from Oklahoma did make this gigantic screenprint, sixty by forty inches, with those words blasted across the sheet, with flies scattered all over the image. The whole portfolio was huge success, shown in museums and galleries all over the world, and Ed’s contribution was a smash hit. And, to be crass about it, made me loads of new friends – and money!
I miss Ed these days. LA seems so far away – but he is always in my mind. Cool guy, great friend, wonderful man.
Pepto - Caviar Hollywood
14.75 x 42 in
Screenprint on Copperplate Deluxe paper
Provenance: Bernard Jacobson
Edition: 50 2 Cirrus impressions 8 CTP 5 "Ghost" proofs 1 "To Jean" proof 1 TP (with hole cut out) Inscriptions: Signed and dated in pencil lower left below image, "E. Ruscha 1970": numbered in pencil lower left: workshop number in pencil reverse lower right, "16cs-ER70" Printer: Cirrus Editions, Los Angeles; printed by Jean Milant and Jane Arman; collaboration and supervision by Jean Milant Publisher: Cirrus Editions (and Bernard Jacobson?) Print Runs: 2 organic substances printed in 2 runs from 2 screens: 1. Pepto-Bismol - screen; 2. caviar - screen
Edition of 50
20 x 30 in
Screenprint on wood-grain veneer paper
Provenance: Bernard Jacobson
Edition of 30 Proofs 4 AP 1BAT 2 Cirrus Imressions 2PP 4TP Inscriptions: Signed and dated in pencil reverse lower left, "Edward Ruscha 1973", numbered in pencil reverse lower left, workshop chop mark front lower left, workshop number in pencil reverse lower right "72cs-ER73" Printer: Cirrus Editions, Los Angeles, printed by Jane Aman, collaboration and supervision by Jean Milant Publisher: Cirrus Editions Print runs: 2 colors printed in 3 runs from 3 screens : 1 transparent base-screen, 2. maroon gloss-screen, 3. black gloss-screen Comments: all prints in the edition were scented with Cabochard perfume by Gres
Edition of 30
16 x 26 in
Screenprint on Louvain Opaque Cover paper
Provenance: Bernard Jacobson
Edition: 90 Proofs: (all Proofs on Louvain Opaque Cover paper) 10Ap 1BAT 2 Cirrus impressions 2 PP Inscriptions Signed and dated in pencil lower lef, "Ed Ruscha 1971", numbered in pencil lower left, workshop chop mark lower right, workshop number in pencil reverse lower left, "38cs-ER71" Printer: Cirrus Editions, Los Angeles; printed by Jean Milant and Fumi Kaneko; collaboration and supervision by Jean Milant Publisher: Bernard Jacobson, Ltd, London Print runs: 3 colors plus varnish printed in 13 runs from 4 screens: 1.-10. dark brown, light brown (split fountain)screen 11.light-brown screen, 12. medium brown-screen, 13. clear varnish-screen
Edition of 90