The American Artist Ed Ruscha (*1937) works in a variety of media: He is a painter, filmmaker, photographer and graphic artist. It is the artist's paintings dating from the end of the 1950s to today that are central to his comprehensive retrospective at the Haus der Kunst. It is the first time that his painterly oeuvre is shown as a survey presentation.
The combination of different media in a single work is characteristic of Ed Ruscha's pictures: Graphic elements, whole landscapes of words or components borrowed from an aesthetic found in film are integrated into his paintings.
Besides Abstract Expressionism, it was American way of life in the 1950s and 1960s that had a big influence on Ed Ruscha’s artistic development: Route 66 and the myth of the highway; Los Angeles and Hollywood; the phenomenon of mass culture, the banality of which Ed Ruscha never condemns in his pictures but shows in its manifold manifestations.
Billboard lettering, forgotten and discarded items become part of his paintings; single words and steep diagonals rush towards the viewer like splinters of reality. As well as gaining international recognition very early on, Ed Ruscha became an important figure in the art scene of Los Angeles, where he still lives today. Ed Ruscha is considered one of the most ground-breaking artists over the last 50 years.
Dr. Karl Wamsler Foundation, Munich
Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst