Ed Ruscha

1937 (Omaha, Nebr.) –

Ruscha’s paintings, books and other works are often said to mark him out as having a distinctively west-coast sensibility, though his influence spread much further. Irwin was strongly influential as a teacher, and later a stable-mate (along with Berman, and Ruscha’s fellow-student Bell) at the Ferus Gallery, co-founded by Kienholz. Hockney was a friend, and similarly playful observer of west coast ways; Wiener, a colleague and good acquaintance, collaborated on a bookwork; Baldessari also collaborated. Ruscha’s admirer J. G. Ballard (the respect was mutual) wrote that he had ‘the coolest gaze in American art.’

Ed Ruscha knew…