Collection: Ed Ruscha


USA, b. 1937

Indisputably one of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century, Ed Ruscha has built a formidable body of work by staking a claim on the deceptively simple intersection of text and image, superimposing elliptical phrases (or, often, single words) over West Coast landscapes to create paintings that can be read instantaneously yet evade easy understanding. A pioneer of the 1960s Los Angeles art scene as part of the famed Ferus Gallery—alongside artists like Robert Irwin and Billy Al Bengston—Ruscha's embrace of Hollywood vernacular and the open Western road have tied him as closely to the identity of L.A. art as Jackson Pollock is with that of New York.

Ruscha's work has been featured in dozens of exhibitions around the world, including Ed Ruscha: 50 Years of Painting at London's Hayward Gallery (2009), Ed Ruscha: Made in Los Angeles at Madrid's Reina Sofia in 2002, a 2000 retrospective at the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a survey of his works-on-paper at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1998, and a 1982 retrospective that traveled to the Whitney Museum. In 2005 he represented the United States at the 51st Venice Biennale, and in 2009 he received a National Arts Award.

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