Adult Evening Programs, Talk/Lecture

Ed Ruscha and the Great American West | Fine Arts Museums of SF Docent Alfred Escoffier
Tue Jul 19, 7:30pm |
Founders Room
Alfred Escoffier Docent, FAMSF

Join a docent from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco who will share how the art of Ed Ruscha shapes the mythology of the American West.

In 1956, at the age of 18, Ed Ruscha left his home in Oklahoma and drove a 1950 Ford sedan to Los Angeles, where he had been accepted to Chouinard Art Institute.

His trip roughly followed the fabled Route 66 through the Southwest, which featured many of the sights—auto repair shops, billboards, and long stretches of roadway punctuated by telephone poles—that would provide him with artistic subjects for decades to come.

The exhibit reveals Ruscha’s fascination with the evolving landscape and iconic character of the “Great American West” in symbolic, evocative, and ironic renditions.

These include works that depict gasoline stations, long an important element of Ruscha’s work, as well as others that comment on Los Angeles and the film industry, such as his famous “Technicolor” images of the Hollywood sign.

The exhibition also includes works in which a word or phrase is the sole subject, often depicted in a variety of forms that simulate poured liquids, cut ribbons, or spray paint.

Ruscha continues to work steadily at the age of 77, and this exhibition includes prints made as recently as 2015.

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