Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) is an American artist associated with the pop art movement. His works encompass drawing, painting, photography and artist books.
Ruscha is perhaps best known for his ‘word paintings’. Revolutionary at the time, the single word, with its unique visual, graphic, and auditory characteristics, became the sole subject of a number of the artist’s paintings and drawings. He effectively succeeded in making the word the work.
“They’re almost not words—they are objects that become words” said Ruscha. He explains: “If you isolate a word for just a moment and repeat it ten, fifteen times, you can easily drive the meaning from the word and from the sound of the word.”
“The words have these abstract shapes, they live in a world of no size. You can make them any size, and what’s the real size? Nobody knows…. It wasn’t until later that I was interested in combinations of words making thoughts, sentences, and things like that.”