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Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore
22-25 Jackson Ave (at 46th Ave.)
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 433-1088
Store hours:
Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sun: 12–6 PM
Sat: 12–8 PM 

Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Bookstore
917 East 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 988-7413
Store hours:
Tues–Sun: 11AM–6PM




Ed Ruscha
On The Road: An Artist Book of the Classic Novel by Jack Kerouac


In 1951, Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road on his typewriter as a continuous 120-foot-long scroll, feverishly recording in 20 days his road trips across the United States and Mexico. On the Road was finally published in 1957, and Kerouac was immediately acknowledged as the voice of the Beat Generation.

For almost 50 years, Ed Ruscha has recorded the evolving emblems of American life in the form of phrases and sentences, Hollywood logos, gas stations and archetypal landscapes. During the 1960s, he created a series of cheaply printed photographic books which can be seen in part as deadpan meditations on the romantic vision of the road epitomized by the Beats. In Royal Road Test (1967), he brought the word and the road together in a conceptual prank by documenting himself dropping a vintage typewriter from a speeding Buick.

In 2010 Ruscha turned his attention to On the Road, and has produced his own limited-edition version of Kerouac's Beat bible. Ruscha designed the book, illustrating Kerouac's text with 55 tipped-in photographs that the artist has either taken himself, commissioned from other photographers or selected from found images to refer closely to the details and impressions that the author describes, from car parts to jazz instruments, from sandwich stacks to tire burns on a desert road. The text is printed in letterpress on 220g Hahnemühle paper and every one of the 55 photo-plates is blind-embossed and tipped in by hand to create an exquisite and original edition. 

The leather-bound book comprises 228 pages, signed and numbered by the artist in an edition of 350 and presented in a slipcase.