Ed Ruscha, History Kids, 2013. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

Ed Ruscha: Mountain Prints

In 1996, the Pop artist Ed Ruscha began layering cryptic, banal phrases such as “PAY NOTHING UNTIL APRIL” and “LION IN OIL” over scenic views of snow-capped mountains. Juxtaposed with these sublime landscapes, Ruscha’s slogans appear all the more nonsensical and playful. “I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body, then coming back and becoming a word again,” he once explained. Ruscha’s unique mountain paintings are among the Pop artist’s most sought-after motifs, often selling for seven figures at auction. Between 2010 and 2015, Ruscha released a complementary series of limited edition mountain prints, introducing new phrases such as “BLISS BUCKET,” “HISTORY KIDS,” and “SPONGE PUDDLE” into his absurdist cannon.

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