Ed Ruscha


"I'm dead serious about being nonsensical."


- Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha is widely regarded as one of the world’s most important artists with a career spanning six decades from the early 1960s until the present day. Through key works from the Artist Rooms collection discover the art and ideas of this extraordinary artist.


Ruscha became well known in the late 1950s when he began making small collages using images and words taken from everyday sources such as advertisements. This interest in the everyday led to him using the cityscape of his adopted hometown Los Angeles – a source of inspiration he has returned to again and again. Ruscha often combines images of the city with words and phrases from everyday language to communicate a particular urban experience. He also explores the banality of modern urban life and the barrage of mass media-fed images and information that confronts us daily.


Ed Ruscha's use of the imagery and techniques seen in commercial art such as advertising and his interest in popular culture and the everyday, connects him directly with pop art.


He was also very influential to the development of conceptual art through his depiction of words and phrases, and his books of deadpan photographs characterised by their low-key humour.


- Courtesy of the Tate