In his examination of ordinary material culture and everyday architecture, internationally renowned contemporary artist Ed Ruscha has functioned as an archeologist of sorts, analyzing objects, images, words, and other artifacts he encounters. After a trip to Europe with his mother and brother in 1961, Ruscha returned to Los Angeles with a new sense of appreciation for and curiosity about American popular culture, noticing vernacular structures, commercial signage, the iconography of the road, and the manufactured romance of Hollywood. These themes pervade the artist's books he produced in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance introduces Ruscha's groundbreaking books to those not yet familiar with his work, while displaying previously unavailable archival materials. The exhibition focuses on an artist whose engagement with the book form has changed the art world.
This exhibition includes more than 150 objects from the Ransom Center's Ed Ruscha Papers and Art Collection including notebooks, manuscripts, layout sketches, business records, photographs, lithographs, screenprints, a poster, and books.