Ruscha, Ed(Edward Joseph Ruscha 4th) (ro͞oshā`), 1937–, American artist, b. Omaha, Neb. He is closely associated with Los Angeles, where he moved to attend (1956–60) the Chouinard Art Institute. Coolly inventive and extremely influential, Ruscha uses imagery and language familiar from popular media and typically mingles various styles including pop artpop art,
movement that restored realism to avant-garde art; it first emerged in Great Britain at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism.
..... Click the link for more information. , surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
..... Click the link for more information. , photorealismphotorealism,
international art movement of the late 1960s and 70s that stressed the precise rendering of subject matter, often taken from actual photographs or painted with the aid of slides.
..... Click the link for more information. , and conceptual artconceptual art,
art movement that began in the 1960s and stresses the artist's concept rather than the art object itself. Growing out of minimalism, conceptual art turned the artist's thoughts and ideas themselves into the primary artistic medium, appealing to the spectator's
..... Click the link for more information. . He became known for his paintings of roadside buildings (e.g., Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas, 1963) and Southern California icons (e.g., the 20th Century Fox logo and Hollywood sign) executed in a hard-edged commercial style and for his painted words isolated from context and floating in deep space. He also produced a number of books, the earliest (1963–72) a series of affectless photographs of gas stations, apartment buildings, parking lots, and other Southern California architectural banalities. An accomplished draftsman and printmaker, he often incorporates food, blood, grease, gunpowder, or other unusual materials in his graphic works. Many of his later images feature archetypal American landscapes of snowcapped mountains overlaid with apparently unrelated words and phrases. Among his more recent paintings are the Course of Empire series, five imaginary American manufacturing landscapes from 1992 paired with images of how they would have appeared in 2005; the Psycho-Spaghetti Western paintings (2011), large diagonal landscapes filled with images of American discards and garbage; and Drum Skins (2017–19), round drumheads painted with double-negative phrases recalled from his Oklahoma childhood.
See A. Schwartz, ed., Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages (2004); studies by S. Engberg, ed. (1999), N. Benezra et al. (2000), R. D. Marshall (2003), P. Poncy, ed. (2004), M. Rowell (2004), S. Wolf (2004), and A. Schwartz (2010).