Born in 1937, Ed Ruscha began his career within pop art and has since become a leading figure across the visual arts through drawings, “word paintings”, photographs and films. In 2013 he appeared in Time 100, the US magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
His archive was recently acquired by the Harry Ransom Center, the humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin. The material shown here is taken from Ruscha’s celebrated artist’s books.
The photographs come from the first of these, Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1962). Sayings (1995) comprises lithographs based on Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, with text handwritten in what the artist calls “Boy Scout utility sans serif” (top left). The final image (top right) shows preparatory work for Ruscha’s 2010 “artist book” edition of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
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