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Ruscha is one of the most consistently inventive American artists of the last 50 years.

Ed Ruscha was part of the first generation of Pop artists whose work featured in New Painting of Common Objects, the 1962 exhibition that also included pieces by Lichtenstein and Warhol. His work has much in common with Pop art but escapes easy categorisation.

Ruscha is best known for his word paintings, featuring slogans written in capitalised text over a background, as in his 1963 piece Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Many of these pieces feature as part of this ARTIST ROOMS display. As his style developed he experimented with 'redacting' his word paintings through censor strips, and created his own typeface, Boy Scout Utility Modern, inspired by the Hollywood sign.

As well as his interest in the power and enigma of language, he is also drawn to exploring the culture of the American west coast.

Please note: ARTIST ROOMS Ed Ruscha is closed 21 February – 4 March 2018 (inclusive) for essential building works.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

73/75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH4 3DR

0131 624 6200


Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm Closed 25 & 26 Dec (August - Mon – Sun, 10am – 6pm)

Free to all

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