Gallery Luisotti is pleased to announce the release of the exclusive limited edition of Mark Ruwedel’s Pictures of Hell, produced and published by Alaska Editions, London and RAM Publications, Los Angeles. The magisterial book features 132 black and white tritone reproductions from the artist’s decade-long series of the same name. The limited edition is being launched concurrently with a trade edition by RAM Publications.
Mark Ruwedel has delved into places of the American West with the word hell, devil, or some variation thereof in their names. What has resulted is a prolific demonstration of the systematic demarcation of the West by English-speaking migrants so as to make sense of its vast incomprehensibility and take cartographic ownership of places inhabited by Native Americans, who would have been considered ‘heathens’ who consorted with Satan. The place names may also suggest the frustrations or whimsical humor of the nominators.
Ruwedel is inspired by the formal qualities of 19th-century photographers of the American West, but by layering history with a contemporary investigation of technology, anthropology, and colonial expansion, he deftly outmaneuvers their staid visions.
The signed and numbered book, which resembles a leather-bound Bible with gilded page edges, is accompanied by one of three artist-selected selenium-toned gelatin silver photographs printed on rare Agfa Portriga Rapid paper. The meticulously produced contents are encased by a hand-polished triple-lacquered black acrylic box emblazoned with the title of the book and series in gold foil.