Ed Ruscha

Meet Ed Ruscha, the American Pop artist who fell in love with gas stations on a road trip to Los Angeles in the 1950s.

My pictures are not that interesting. They are simply a collection of facts.

In the 50s, painting was mainly Minimalist and Abstract, but Ed wasn’t interested. He wanted to paint things and words

Painting of gas station in pale blues and sage greens, an olive is painted on the right

Cheese Mold Standard with Olive, 1969

I think I centred on words because, first of all, they have no size. So if I painted the word ‘Boss’ I could paint it that big or I could paint it that big and I like that.

He was not alone in his fascination with modernity. Pop Art was taking hold.

Photo of Ed Ruscha's book Twentysix Gasoline Stations placed between a fork on the left and a knife and spoon on the right

Twentysix Gasoline Stations Place Setting, c.1961

Painting of the word 'Honk' in primary colours

HONK, 1962

Painting of the Spam logo above a tin of Spam flying through the air

Actual Size, 1962

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