Approx. 250 images
Ed Ruscha and the Great American West
Beginning in 1956, road trips on Route 66 across the American Southwest provided Ed Ruscha (American, b. 1937) with a conceptual trove of themes and motifs that he has mined throughout his career. This exhibition catalogue explores the artist’s fascination with the evolving landscape and character of the “Great American West” in symbolic, evocative, and ironic renditions.
Ruscha’s work conveys an enduring fascination with vernacular imagery of the modern American West, especially as seen and experienced from the automobile. Gasoline stations, parking lots, building facades, billboards, and long stretches of roadway punctuated by telephone poles, cacti, and detritus are all featured. In addition, his iconic word images conjure up a contemporary Western sensibility: Adios, Rancho, Rodeo, and Honey . . . . I Twisted Through More Damned Traffic To Get Here.
The catalogue examines Ruscha’s career-long engagement with the notion of the American West—as romantic concept and modern reality. Divided into nine sections, the book traces the artist’s artistic endeavors thematically beginning with his horizontal landscapes of the West and finishing with his word images fittingly titled “The End.”