This show features works spanning the entirety of Ruscha’s six-decade career, including large text-based paintings and his iconic photographic series.

American artist Ed Ruscha (b.1937) is well known for his depiction of isolated words and phrases, often superimposed over picturesque landscapes or featuring incongruous objects and a variety of textures, real or simulated. His early career as a commercial graphic artist strongly influenced his techniques and thematic approach, referencing the language of advertisement. Although initially inspired by Neo-Dada and Pop Art, his paintings quickly demonstrated a unique aesthetic that defies easy categorisation. His text-based works, photographic series of urban landscapes and enigmatic artist’s books were hugely influential in the development of conceptual art in the 1960s and 1970s, and his sardonic takes on the banality of modern life continue to inspire generations of artists.

This exhibition draws from ARTIST ROOMS, a touring collection of over 1,600 works of modern and contemporary art by more than 42 major artists. The collection is displayed across the UK through a touring programme, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Art Fund and Creative Scotland.

Artist RoomsPrints & drawingsModern artLondon


Tate Modern

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