Edward Ruscha has
remained an important figure in American art since the early 1960s when
his artwork first came to the fore as part of the West Coast Pop Art
movement. Since that time, he has continued to develop his signature
style, which combines words and images on the same visual field. In his
recent work, represented in this exhibition, Ruscha juxtaposes airbrushed
and painted images of the sublime in nature with words from daily
language, specifically Los Angeles street names. By doing so, visual and
verbal means of communication coexist and create a sense of friction. The
words conjure mental images that do not necessarily describe what the eye
actually sees in the painting, and the painted image of nature functions
as a symbol or sign, much like words conventionally do, for society’s
sometimes unrealistic ideals.
Edward Ruscha, Hope, Olive, Spring, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 6 ft. x 5 ft. 4 in. (182.88 x 162.56 cm)
Edward Ruscha has participated in group exhibitions nationally and internationally since the 1960s, including such significant museum shows in the last decade as Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955-62, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992); Visions of America: Landscape as Metaphor in the Late 20th Century, Denver Art Museum, Colorado (1994); Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and 47th Venice Biennale (1997); and The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1999). Ruscha's first solo exhibition was held in 1963, and many exhibitions of his work have been presented each year since then, including Gagosian Gallery, New York (1993) and Los Angeles (1996, 1998). Museum exhibition highlights include The Works of Edward Ruscha, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1982), which traveled to Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia, San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas (1982-83) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1983); Institute of Contemporary Art, Nagoya (1988); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1989), which traveled to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Fundació “la Caixa,” Barcelona, Serpentine Gallery, London (1990) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1990-91); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1990); J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (1998); and Editions 1959-1999, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1999).
Anthony d’Offay, London. Ed Ruscha: New Paintings and a Retrospective of Works on Paper (1998). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Neville Wakefield and Dave Hickey.
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Edward Ruscha (1989). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Pontus Hulten and Dan Cameron, interview by Bernard Blistène.
Parkett, no. 18 (1988). Collaboration Edward Ruscha: Dave Hickey, Dennis Hopper, Alain Cueff, John Miller, and Christopher Knight.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California. The Works of Edward Ruscha (1982). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Henry T. Hopkins, Anne Livet, Dave Hickey, and Peter Plagens.