Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, Edward Ruscha moved to Oklahoma City in 1941 and to Los Angeles in 1956 to attend the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1962 Ruscha's work was included, along with Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Dowd, Phillip Hefferton, Joe Goode, Jim Dine, and Wayne Thiebaud in the historically important and ground-breaking ‘New Painting of Common Objects’ at the Pasadena Art Museum. This exhibition is historically considered one of the first ‘Pop Art ‘ exhibitions in America.
He had his first solo exhibition in 1963 at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. At the start of the seventies, Ruscha began showing his work with the Leo Castelli in New York. He currently shows with the Gagosian Gallery in New York, Beverly Hills and London. Ruscha has consistently combined the cityscape of Los Angeles with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience. Encompassing photography, drawing, painting, and artist books, Ruscha's work holds the mirror up to the banality of urban life and give order to the barrage of mass media-fed images and information that confront us daily. Ruscha's early career as a graphic artist continues to strongly influence his aesthetic and thematic approach.
Ruscha has been the subject of numerous museum retrospectives, which have travelled worldwide, beginning in 1983 with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2000. In 2001, Ruscha was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters as a member of the Department of Art. The following year a major exhibition of Ruscha's entire body of work opened in Spain at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
In 2004, The Whitney Museum of American Art organized two simultaneous exhibitions: Cotton Puffs, Q-tips, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha, which travelled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and then to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and Ed Ruscha and Photography. Also in 2004, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney mounted a selection of the artist's photographs, paintings, books and drawings that travelled to the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome and to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Another exhibition of Ruscha's photographs was organized for the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2006. Ruscha was the United States representative at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005. In 2009, the Hayward Gallery, London mounted a retrospective of the artist's paintings.
|1960 Fulcher Frew|
|1962 Heavy Industry|
|1963 Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas|
|1964 Falling Chiclets|
|1967 Broken Glass|
|1969 Bowling Ball, Olive|
|1974 Cotton Puffs|
|1980 Big Dipper|
|1984 Untitled (Earth and Scallions)|
|1986 Dry Gulch|
|1987 Pattern of Lust|
|1992 Blue Collar Tires|