Ed Ruscha, ‘8900 Sunset BLVD’, 1966-2014, Rush Philanthropic Benefit Auction 2015

Emblematic artist Ed Ruscha belongs to the longstanding pop tradition, although he takes a different approach than his peers. Using oil and acrylic paint, the artist has created unique representations of life in Los Angeles throughout his career. Ruscha’s work has been shown internationally at Gagosian Gallery, as well as at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris. His work is in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among many others.


Image rights: Courtesy of Ed Ruscha

About Ed Ruscha

Despite being credited with a Pop sensibility, Ed Ruscha defies categorization with his diverse output of photographic books and tongue-in-cheek photo-collages, paintings, and drawings. Ruscha’s work is inspired by the ironies and idiosyncrasies of life in Los Angeles, which he often conveys by placing glib words and phrases from colloquial and consumerist usage atop photographic images or fields of color. Known for painting and drawing with unusual materials such as gunpowder, blood, and Pepto Bismol, Ruscha draws attention to the deterioration of language and the pervasive cliches in pop culture, illustrated by his iconic 1979 painting I Don’t Want No Retro Spective. “You see this badly done on purpose, but the badly-done-on-purpose thing was done so well that it just becomes, let’s say, profound,” he once said. Equally renowned were his photographic books, in which he transferred the deadpan Pop style into series of images of LA—apartments, palm trees, or Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1962), his most famous work.

American, b. 1937, Omaha, Nebraska, based in Los Angeles, California