Throughout his career, Ed Ruscha has maintained an attachment to the simplicity that characterized Pop Art while diversifying his body of work. Born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1937, Ruscha moved to Los Angeles to become a commercial artist at the age of 19.
At the beginning of his career, Ruscha depicted stereotypically American subjects such as roadside gas stations, showing the influences of Hopper and Hockney. He gradually introduced words into his art until they became his focus. Many of his paintings and prints of the 1960’s feature a single word depicted in unique fashion, often in trompe l’oeil. In the 1970’s, Ruscha, with Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer, among others, began using entire phrases in their works, a distinctive characteristic of the post-Pop Art generation.
Ruscha continues to use language in his art while focusing on traditionally West Coast subjects. His most recent set of prints depicts painterly details of Los Angeles street maps. The artist currently lives and works in LA. His works can be found in collections around the world including The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; and the Tate Gallery, London.