Ed Ruscha

Nebraska, 1937

Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, Edward Ruscha moved to Oklahoma City in 1941 and to Los Angeles in 1956 to complete his education at the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1963, he began showing his work at the progressive Ferus Gallery in L.A. In 1968 Ruscha had his first international show in Cologne, Germany at Galerie Rudolf Zwirner. A few years later, Ruscha began showing his working with the legendary Leo Castelli in New York, and subsequently with the Gagosian Gallery in New York and Beverly Hills.

Ed Ruscha has consistently mingled his context of Los Angeles with the motifs of language and landscape to communicate a particular urban experience. Encompassing photography, drawing, painting, and film, Ruscha?s work elevates the viewer out of the banality of urban life in order to recognize the barrage of mass media-fed images and information that assault us daily. His early career as a graphic artist continues to strongly influence Ruscha?s aesthetic and thematic approach.

In 1998, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles organized a retrospective of Ruscha?s works on paper. The following year, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills showed new paintings by Ruscha as well as Metro Plots in New York, a series of work in which Ruscha transformed city planning maps into sublime landscapes. A major retrospective of Ruscha?s career opened at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. in June 2000 and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Miami Art Museum, and the Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth, TX. In 2001 Ruscha was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters as a member of the Department of Art.

Ruscha?s most recent major solo exhibitions have been at the Gagosian Galleries: the Palindrome Paintings series was unveiled at the Chelsea space in May 2002 while the most comprehensive display of the artist?s photographs was shown at the Beverly Hills location in March 2003.

In 2004, The Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited an Ed Ruscha drawing retrospective, Cotton Puffs, Q-tips®, Smoke and Mirrors: The Drawings of Ed Ruscha, which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and then to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. through mid-2005. Also in 2005, Ruscha was the United States representative at the 51st Venice Biennale.