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Ed Ruscha (American, b.b. 1937)

Also known as:  Edward Ruscha; Ruscha, Ed; Ruscha, Edward Joseph

Biography:
American painter Edward Ruscha was born in Omaha, Nebraska in December of 1937. He was heavily affiliated with the pop art movement, which was characterized by the integration of media concepts. Some of his peers included Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Phillip Hefferton. Not only was Ruscha a painter, but he was also a filmmaker, photographer, and printmaker. When he was growing up, he gained a passion for the world of Surrealism. He went to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, California, which is presently known as CalArts. At the institute, he had in-depth training in graphic design, painting, and photography.

Ruscha was raised Roman Catholic. He had two siblings, a younger brother named Paul and an elder sister named Shelby. His father worked in auditing at an insurance agency. His mother deeply encouraged his passion and talents in the artistic realm. While Ruscha began his life in Nebraska, he resided in Oklahoma City for roughly 15 years. In 1956, he packed up and moved all the way to California, which is where he received his aforementioned artistic education.

Ruscha's artwork can be found in prominent museums all around the globe. His work can be viewed at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, France and at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, New York, for a couple examples. LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art) in Los Angeles also features Ruscha. The museum boasts 300+ pieces by the artist.

Ruscha has received ample recognition for his works. He was chosen as part of the Department of Art by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. The Royal Academy of Arts in London gave Ruscha the distinction of being an Honorary Royal Academician in 2004.

His works have served as a major source of inspiration for many contemporary artists, whether in movies, graphic design or architecture. Ruscha's artwork is notable for illustrating items that seem to be ordinary and mundane at first, whether gas stations or posters on the street.

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