With his iconic interpretations of American society in the past five decades, Ed Ruscha (born 1937) stands out as one of the most prominent figures of 20th century American art. On show here were works from the UBS Art Collection.
Ed Ruscha is closely associated with cool and elegant representations of stylized gas stations, Hollywood logos and archetypal landscapes. His work seems to distil the imagery of popular culture into what has been defined as “a language of cinematic and typographical codes that are as accessible as they are profound.” Ruscha lives and works in Los Angeles, and his status in the American art world has earned him the nickname “King of the West Coast”.
Since the beginning of the 1960s no one else has so radically interpreted the development of modern visual culture in and around L.A. Ruscha has not had documentation as his ultimate goal; his choice of subjects should first and foremost be seen as the starting point for an artistic idiom in which language and image affect each other in endless variations.
Ruscha developed his art in parallel with the growth of the Pop Art with which we are so familiar from the works of the New York artists, but he derives his motifs from the perspective of the road, the windshield and the movie screen, with a distinctive sense of the space associated with the huge, flat city and the desert around it.
With works from the prestigious UBS Art Collection as a basis, the exhibition covered not only the time from c. 1960 onward, but also the technically and graphically innovative approaches that Ruscha has made use of over the years. The exhibition also included studies for his most iconic paintings and artist books. Taking its title from one of Ruscha’s “word-pictures” the exhibition ‘VERY’ was presented as a part of the Louisiana On Paper series.
Louisiana on Paper
Louisiana on Paper is a series dedicated to the presentation of graphic works, drawings and other works on paper. Often small and intimate, these exhibitions call for immersion as they present an opportunity to have a closer look at the creative processes and working methods of artists. The series is supported by the C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and has until now shown works by a.o. Josef Albers, Vija Celmins, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Beuys, David Hockney, Picasso and most recently George Condo.