Ruscha, Ed

▪ 2005

      By 2004 Ed Ruscha, widely celebrated for his deadpan take on American pop culture, was regarded as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. His works provided a new way of looking at and thinking about the American landscape and connecting the verbal with the visual; his vision was often referred to as photographic in that he saw the landscape and depicted what he saw, as if viewed through a camera lens. In 2004 his first retrospective of drawings and works on paper, “Cotton Puffs, Q-tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha,” premiered at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. The exhibition brought together an array of seminal painter, photographer, printmaker, and filmmaker Ruscha's works on paper using uncommon materials from chocolate to juice to gunpowder.

      Edward Joseph Ruscha was born on Dec. 16, 1937, in Omaha, Neb., and was raised in Oklahoma City. In 1956, at the age of 19, he drove to Los Angeles, where he studied painting, photography, and graphic arts at Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts). He worked as a commercial artist doing sign painting, typography, and layout, and then he applied those techniques and visual tendencies to his artworks. Between 1963 and 1978 Ruscha systematically photographed southern California's built environments—including vacant parking lots, swimming pools, gasoline stations, and nightspots—which he made into wordless artist's books, such as Every Building on the Sunset Strip. This art form became a staple of Conceptualism, and his 16 books were widely influential among younger generations of artists, while they also provided further insight into how he applied his unique perspective to his paintings and drawings. Ruscha also made two short films, Premium (1969–70) and Miracle (1975), and in 1978 he collaborated with Lawrence Weiner on Hard Light, a film in book format.

      Ruscha first became widely known in the 1960s, with paintings that featured dramatic, diagonal compositions depicting roadside architecture and signs, along with his paintings and drawings that reflected the visual and emotive power of single words. His signature works of dark humour included The Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Fire, 1965–68, a painting depicting the institution in flames; Actual Size, 1962, a bright painting of a flying can of Spam beneath the logo; and Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights, 1962, a dramatic representation of the Twentieth Century-Fox logo. Ruscha's work called attention to consumerism's role in art and culture, with a witty, dark humour less apparent in the Pop Art of his contemporaries. His recent works included paintings and prints of Hollywood crossroads and anagrams and puns painted over snow-capped mountains.

      Since 1963, when he first exhibited with the groundbreaking Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, Ruscha's work had been presented in solo exhibitions at important art museums around the world, and in 2004 a catalogue raisonné of his paintings from 1958 to 1970 was published.

Ali J. Subotnick

* * *

▪ American artist
in full  Edward Joseph Ruscha 
born Dec. 16, 1937, Omaha, Neb., U.S.

      American artist associated with West Coast Pop art, whose works provided a new way of looking at and thinking about the American landscape and connecting the verbal with the visual.

      Ruscha was raised in Oklahoma City, and in 1956 he made his way to Los Angeles. There he attended Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts), where he studied painting, photography, and graphic arts. He worked as a commercial artist, painting signs and creating graphic designs. As a result, he began to apply commercial techniques and visual styles to his own artwork. Initially, he experimented with Abstract Expressionism, but he soon turned to the found words and images drawn from vernacular culture that would come to inform all his work. He began to render words and images in the hard-edged style of advertising design. Later he experimented with painting words as if they had been written using poured liquids. His signature works of dark humour include The Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Fire (1965–68), a painting depicting the institution in flames; Actual Size (1962), an image of a flying can of Spam (a canned and precooked luncheon meat) beneath the Spam logo; and Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights (1962), a dramatic representation of the Twentieth Century-Fox logo.

      Between 1963 and 1978 Ruscha systematically photographed southern California's built environments—including vacant parking lots, swimming pools, gasoline stations, and nightspots—which he made into wordless books, such as Every Building on the Sunset Strip. The 16 artist's books he created in this manner were widely influential among a younger generation of artists. During this period, Ruscha also made two short films, Premium (1969–70) and Miracle (1975), and in 1978 he collaborated with Lawrence Weiner on Hard Light, a film in book format.

      In the 1980s Ruscha made work in grisaille in which the images and texts, often silhouette-like, were softened and blurred. In the '90s he featured the rugged mountain scenery so often used in contemporary advertising for motor vehicles. Throughout the decades, his work has continued to exhibit a deadpan viewpoint of consumerism in life and art.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ruscha —   [ ruːʃə], Edward, amerikanischer Maler und Grafiker, * Omaha (Nebraska) 16. 12. 1937; vertrat die glamouröse Ausprägung der Pop Art in Kalifornien mit plakativer Perfektion. Dagegen zeigen seine Fotobücher (»Twenty six gasoline stations«, 1962; …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ruscha — Edward „Ed“ Ruscha (* 16. Dezember 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska) ist ein US amerikanischer Maler, Grafiker, Fotograf und Filmemacher. Bekannt wurde er vor allem durch seine Werke im Bereich der Malerei und Druckgrafik.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ruscha — Infobox musical artist Name = Ruscha Come Alive (CD cover) Img size = Landscape = yes Background = group or band Alias = Origin = Liberty University in VA Genre = Christian rock Year = 1988 Label = Pan Trax Records, Inc. Victor Entertainment, Inc …   Wikipedia

  • Ruscha Deltschewa — Ruscha Nikolowa Deltschewa (bulgarisch Ружа Николова Делчева; * 2. August 1915 in Stara Sagora; † 26. November 2002 in Sofia) war eine bulgarische Schauspielerin. Ruscha Deltschewa studierte an der Akademie für dramatische Schauspiel… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ruscha Lasarowa — (bulgarisch  Ружа Лазарова; * 1968 in Sofia) is eine bulgarische Schriftstellerin. Sie besuchte die französische Schule Sofia und studierte Philosophie an der Universität Sofia. 1968 ging sie nach Paris Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Preis 2… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ed Ruscha — Edward „Ed“ Ruscha (* 16. Dezember 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska) ist ein US amerikanischer Maler, Grafiker, Fotograf und Filmemacher. Bekannt wurde er vor allem durch seine Werke im Bereich der Malerei und Druckgrafik.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Edward Ruscha — Edward „Ed“ Ruscha (* 16. Dezember 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska) ist ein US amerikanischer Maler, Grafiker, Fotograf und Filmemacher. Bekannt wurde er vor allem durch seine Werke im Bereich der Malerei und Druckgrafik.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Edward Ruscha — Infobox Artist name = Edward Ruscha imagesize = 150px birthname = Edward Joseph Ruscha IV birthdate = Birth date and age|1937|12|16|mf=y location = Omaha, Nebraska, United States deathdate = deathplace = nationality = American field = Photography …   Wikipedia

  • Edward Ruscha — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Edward Joseph Ruscha Nacimiento 22 de diciembre de 1937 Omaha (Nebraska) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Edward Ruscha — Nom de naissance Edward Joseph Ruscha IV Naissance 16 décembre 1937 Omaha, Nebraska, États Unis Nationalité États Unis …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.