My Newfound Appreciation for Ed Ruscha

To be really honest I know basically nothing about Ed Ruscha, only that he’s a fancy artist who started painting in the late 50’s. In fact. I don’t know a lot about fine art or art history, it really hasn’t interested me very much up until the last few years. It’s not that I don’t have an appreciation, it’s just never clicked for me.

The other night I was watching the Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton documentary and Mr. Ruscha’s came up at one of his shows and I thought that I should take a second to look him up. As it turns out he has a pretty great website with large photos of his work dating back to 1958. It’s kind of surprising to see an artist of his age and caliber actually have a decent site. Most of the time it’s tiny images or some Flash bullshit.

Anyhow, just wanted to say that I like these paintings in particular. They’re simple but bold and the scale is pretty crazy too, most of these are like six feet wide. Be sure to visit his site and look through all his work.


6 Comments My Newfound Appreciation for Ed Ruscha

  1. fiftytwo August 25, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Really like some of Ruscha’s late 60s work, Ripe reminds me a lot of the Daft Punk logo. Can’t say I agree with you on him having a great website though, it’s pretty strangely put together in terms of code and the design doesn’t lend itself well to his work in my opinion, it’s pretty flat. Each to their own I guess, personally I’d prefer some ‘Flash bullshit’ though, haha.

  2. YMFY August 25, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    “Parts Per Trillion” is one of my most favorite paintings I’ve come across in person.

  3. James August 26, 2010 at 6:36 AM

    Ed Ruscha is important because of his ground-breaking style and his subsequent inclusion in the revolutionary show ‘New Painting of Common Objects,’ which slotted him alongside Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Warhol, and others (1). That show was important because it was the first museum survey of contemporary American art, and was put on by the guy who gave Warhol his first show.

    Additionally, Ruscha’s work other than the word paintings helped shape American pop art and, later, contemporary abstract art. Warhol takes the credit (and took the money) for a lot of that, but Ruscha and others really did all the heavy lifting.

    Affordable Ruscha:


  4. Bobby Telegramme August 26, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    I managed to go see his show at the Hayward Gallery last year, i was pretty clueless about him but I really love his work. the detail and crispness of the lines are pretty amazing.

  5. erika August 26, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    As an LA expat (currently in NYC), Ed Ruscha reminds me of everything I love about Los Angeles. His style is understated, elegant, and pure summer. One of my favorite projects, which was on display at the Whitney, is Course of Empire… In this series – which evokes the old Thomas Cole series of the same name – he took some paintings that he did in the 60’s and imagined what they would look like today.

    Cole series:
    Ruscha series:

  6. erika August 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Oops. Looks like they weren’t the 60’s…More like the 90’s :)

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