Ed Ruscha – artist’s book – Royal Road Test


&So.... exhibition

Royal Road Test
(1st edition 1967; 2nd 1969; 3rd 1971, 4th 1980)

A soft-cover artist’s book containing 64 pages and 36 offset reproductions of black and white photographs taken by Edward Ruscah, Mason Williams and Patrick Blackwell documenting in the manner of a forensic report the effects of a Royal (Model “X”) typewriter, thrown from a 1963 Buick ‘La Sabre’ at 90 mph, with captions.
‘In 1967 he published Royal Road Test, the first of his books in which there was collaboration over content…(It) is a picture-book story of a Royal manual typewriter that was thrown out of the window of a 1963 Buick travelling at ninety miles per hour. Ruscha is cast in the role of the driver, Blackwell the photographer, and Williams the “thrower.” The core of the books is the photographic examination of the wreckage of the typewriter strewn over many square yards, spoofing the methods of an investigator analysing the demise of an automobile prototype…’ Phillpot in Engberg. vol. 2. p. 68

Engbert, S 1999, Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis. Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 1 pp. 92-93; Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 2 p. 124, B6,
Lailach,M 2005, Printed Matter. Die Sammlung Marzona in der Kunstbibliothek The Marzona Collection at the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, p. 159.
Moline, K & Campbell, K (comp.) 1987, IN PRINT. Vol.1. Artists’ Books, The Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, The University of Sydney.

Collection: Centre for the Artist Book, grahame galleries + editions