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Ed Ruscha (b. 1937)

A painter, printmaker, and filmmaker, Edward Ruscha was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1937, and lived some 15 years in Oklahoma City before moving permanently to Los Angeles where he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute from 1956 to 1960. 

By the early sixties he was well known for his paintings, collages, and printmaking, and for his association with the progressive Ferus Gallery, which also included artists Robert Irwin, Edward Moses, Ken Price, and Edward Kienholz. 

Ruscha has consistently combined the cityscape of his adopted hometown with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience. Encompassing painting, drawing, photography, and artist's books, Ruscha's work holds the mirror up to the banality of urban life and gives order to the barrage of mass media-fed images and information that confronts us daily. Ruscha's early career as a graphic artist continues to strongly influence his aesthetic and thematic approach. 

In 1962, Ruscha's work was included, along with Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Dowd, Phillip Hefferton, Joe Goode, Jim Dine, and Wayne Thiebaud, in the historically important and ground-breaking exhibition 
New Painting of Common Objects, curated by Ferus Gallery alumni Walter Hopps, at the Pasadena Art Museum. This exhibition is historically considered one of the first Pop Art exhibitions in America. 

Since 1964, Ruscha has been experimenting with painting and drawing words and phrases, often oddly comic and satirical sayings. From 1966 to 1969, Ruscha painted his "liquid word" paintings. Ruscha achieved recognition for his word paintings and for his many photographic books, all influenced by the deadpan irreverence of the Pop Art movement. 

Ruscha has been the subject of numerous museum retrospectives that have traveled internationally, including those organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1982, the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2000, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2002, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 2004. Also in 2004, The Whitney Museum of American Art organized two simultaneous Ruscha exhibitions which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

In 2001 Ruscha was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters as a member of the Department of Art. 
Leave Any Information at the Signal, a volume of his writings and interviews, was published by MIT Press in 2002 and the first comprehensive monograph on the artist, Richard Marshall's Ed Ruscha, was published by Phaidon in 2003.  In 2005, Ruscha was the United States representative at the 51st Venice Biennale. The traveling exhibition Ed Ruscha, Photographer opened at the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2006.

Select Museum Collections: Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA; National Galleries of Scotland;
Tate Gallery, London.

Source: Denis Bloch Fine Art via AskArt.com