Ruscha, Ed (Edward Ruscha), 1937–, American artist, b. Omaha, Neb. He is closely associated with Los Angeles, where he moved to attend (1956–60) the Chouinard Art Institute. Cooly inventive and extremely influential, Ruscha uses imagery and language familiar from popular media and typically mingles various styles including pop art, surrealism, photorealism, and conceptual art. He became known for his paintings of roadside buildings (e.g., Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas, 1963) and Southern California icons (e.g., the 20th Century Fox logo and Hollywood sign) executed in a hard-edged commercial style and for his painted words isolated from context and floating in deep space. He also produced a number of books, the earliest a series of affectless photographs of such architectural banalities as gas stations, apartment buildings, and parking lots. An accomplished draftsman and printmaker, he often incorporates food, blood, grease, gunpowder, or other unusual materials in his graphic works. Many of his later images feature archetypal American landscapes overlaid with apparently unrelated words and phrases.
See A. Schwartz, ed., Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages (2004); studies by S. Engberg, ed. (1999), N. Benezra et al. (2000), R. D. Marshall (2003), P. Poncy, ed. (2004), M. Rowell (2004), S. Wolf (2004), and A. Schwartz (2010).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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