Ed Ruscha’s Wild West

For 50 Years and Counting, the Artist Has Reinterpreted What the West Means to America

In 1956, at the age of 18, Edward Joseph Ruscha IV left his home in Oklahoma and drove a 1950 Ford sedan to Los Angeles, where he hoped to attend art school. His trip roughly followed the fabled Route 66 through the Southwest, and featured many of the sights—auto repair shops, billboards, and long stretches of roadway punctuated by oil derricks and telephone poles—that would provide him with artistic subjects for decades to come.

Ninety-nine of his works are now on view in Ed Ruscha and the Great American West …

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