Pop artist Edward Ruscha (American, b.1937) was born in Nebraska and moved to Los Angeles in 1956 to study at the Chouinard Art Institute, intending to become a commercial artist. Quickly recognized in the 1960s as an important representative of the thriving Pop Art movement and a successor of the Beat Generation for his collages and text-based pieces, Ruscha’s work was exhibited at the Ferus, Leo Castelli, and Gagosian Galleries.

As a painter, drawer, and filmmaker, Ruscha has been heavily influenced by the city of Los Angeles and by his initial interest in graphic arts, incorporating text and urban, as well as Western, landscapes into his work. Ruscha comments on myths of American Romanticism, commercial culture, and urban life in humorous and ironic pieces. He sometimes uses unusual media in his work, including fruit and vegetable juices, blood, gunpowder, and grass stains, in works such as his Stains series. In the 1980s, his style became more mystical, as he worked with rays of light, constellations, and other celestial themes. Ruscha is best known for his witty and enigmatic use of text in his paintings, which he continues to incorporate into his works today. He has held several retrospectives in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, and Munich and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001.

Timeline

1937
Born in Omaha, NE
1941
Moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, OK
1956
Received first prize in graphic design from the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma, OK
1956–1960
Attended Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
1967
Received an award in painting from the National Council on the Arts, Washington, DC
1969
Awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and received a two-month fellowship at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, CA
1969–1970
Taught drawing and printmaking at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA
1971
Received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
1978
Received his second grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC
Lives and work in Los Angeles, CA

Exhibitions

2013
Ed Ruscha – Los Angeles Apartments - Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
In Focus: Ed Ruscha - The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
Le Grand Tout - 30 Ans Du Frac Limousin - FRAC - Limousin, Limoges
Word And Image - Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH
Ed Ruscha: Made in California - Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX
Don't Be Shy, Don't Hold Back - The Logan Collection At Sfmoma - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection - Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art - Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York City, NY
Ed Ruscha - Artist Rooms On Tour - Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne
The Time is Now - John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Letters From Los Angeles Part II: Identity & Self Identity Through Text in Art - Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Ed Ruscha - Gagosian Gallery , New York City, NY
I'm Amazed - Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London (England)
2012
Ed Ruscha - Gagosian Gallery, New York City, NY
Ed Ruscha - Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna
Ed Ruscha: Standard - Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
Ed Ruscha - Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz
Ed Ruscha: On The Road - Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FL
2011
Ed Ruscha: On the Road - Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Ed Ruscha: Nice, Hot Vegetables - Richard Gray Gallery - New York, New York City, NY
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 - The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
Edward Ruscha - Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Ed Ruscha: On the Road - Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Ed Ruscha ARTIST ROOMS - Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton (England)
Ed Ruscha - Psycho Spaghetti Westerns - Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
Ed Ruscha - Road Tested - The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX 2010
2010
Beauty is Diamond, Laleh June Galerie, Basel, Switzerland
Selections from Hamiltion Press at Sylvia White Gallery
Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting, Moderna Museet, Stolkholm, Sweden
2009
Words Are Diamonds, Laleh June Galerie, Basel, Switzerland
Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland
2008
Ed Ruscha: Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
2007
Stains, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Ed Ruscha, Photographer, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
Kunsthaus, Zürich, Switzerland
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
2006
Two Artists ~ Two Worlds, the Drawings of Ed Ruscha and Robert Williams, Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Course of Empire, United States Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2005
Ed Ruscha and Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
2004
Ed Ruscha: The Drawings and Photographs, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
Ed Ruscha: Cotton Puffs, Q Tips, Smoke and Mirrors, L.A Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (solo)
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (solo)
2003
Ed Ruscha Photographs, L.A Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002
Ed Ruscha: Recent works on Paper, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Ed Ruscha:Palindrome Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2000
Ed Ruscha: Mountains and Highways, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Ed Ruscha: Powders, Pressures and Other Drawings, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (solo)
1999
Edward Ruscha: The Complete Editions 1959-1999, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL (solo)
Ed Ruscha: Metro Plots, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Ed Ruscha. Kukje Gallery, Seoul , Korea (solo)
Ed Ruscha, Meta Gallery, Madrid, Spain (solo)
1998
Ed Ruscha, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, UK (solo)
1997
Spaghetti Westerns, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Edward Ruscha, Jurgen Becker, Hamburg, Germany (solo)
Edward Ruscha: Cityscapes/O Books, Leo Castelli, New York, NY (solo)
1996
Edward Ruscha, Gallery Seomi, Seoul, Korea (solo)
1995
Anamorphic Paintings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
The End. Close Range Gallery, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
1993
Edward Ruscha/Romance With Liquids, Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1992
Edward Ruscha/New Paintings & Drawings, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria (solo)
Ed Ruscha/Stains, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY
Edward Ruscha and Dennis Hopper/New Works, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, NY
1990
Edward Ruscha, Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris, France (solo)
Edward Ruscha/Obra Sobre Paper, Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
Edward Ruscha, Centre Cultural de la Fundació Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
Edward Ruscha, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NA (solo)
Ed Ruscha/new paintings and drawings, Karsten Schubert, London, UK (solo)
Edward Ruscha Paintings and Drawings, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX (solo)
Ed Ruscha/Paintings, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Los Angeles Apartments, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Edward Ruscha, Galeria Trisorio, Naples, Italy (solo)
1989
Edward Ruscha, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Fundacio Caixa de Pensions, Barcelona, Spain; Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, CA (solo)
New Paintings, Leo Castelli, New York, NY
New Paintings and Drawings, Touko Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
1988
Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go. Lannan Museum, Lake Worth, FL; WilliamEarly Paintings, Shafrizi Gallery, New York, NYs College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
Changing Group Exhibition, Karsten Schubert Gallery, London, UK
Edward Ruscha: Recent Paintings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (solo)
Edward Ruscha: Recent Works on Paper 1988, Karsten Schubert Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Institute of Contemporary Art, Nagoya, Japan
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1987
New Paintings, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY
The Works of Ed Ruscha, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (solo)
1986
The Texas Gallery, Houston, TX
4 x 6 Westfalischer Kunstverein, Münster, GermanGalerie Susan Wyss, Zürich, Switzerland
New Paintings, Fuller Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
New Paintings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1985
Ed Ruscha: Quelques Dessins, Galerie Gilbert Brownstone, Paris, France (solo)
New Paintings, James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Octobre des Arts, Musee St. Pierre, Lyon, France
1984
New Paintings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1983
New Drawings, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1982
Edward Ruscha/New Drawings, Castelli Uptown, New York, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (solo)
The Works of Edward Ruscha, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1981
Ace Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Edward Ruscha/New Works, Arco Center for the Visual Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Edward Ruscha/D Drawings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1980
Edward Ruscha:Paintings, Ace Gallery, Venice, CA (solo)
Nigel Greenwood, Inc., London, UK
New Paintings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

Public Collections

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA
The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Literature

2007
Weiner Lawrence, Hickey Dave and Robert Dean. Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume III, 1983-1987. London, UK: Steidl The Masters, 2007
2005
Wollen, Peter and Reyner Banham. Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume II. , 1971-1982. London, UK: Steidl; Gagosian, 2005
2004
Bois, Yves-Alain and Walter Hopps. Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume I 1958-1970. London, UK: Steidl, 2004