Ed Ruscha

OK (State I) (1990)

About this artwork

Throughout his career Ruscha has made a range of punchy, graphic prints, drawings and paintings exploring single words, motifs or phrases with no context. The letters in this image could be read in two ways: either as reference to his home town of Oklahoma, or as American vernacular or slang, which he frequently deploys in his art works. Unlike his text work of the 1960s and 1970s, the letters used here are more blurred and the hazy textures recall the work of Mark Rothko, the American abstract painter of the 1950s.

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  • title: OK (State I)
  • accession number: AL00315
  • artist: Ed RuschaAmerican (born 1937)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1990
  • measurements: 68.50 x 91.40 cm (support: 82.30 x 105.30 cm, framed: 107.30 x 84.30 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Artist Rooms Foundation 2011
  • copyright: © Ed Ruscha.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha

Ruscha was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He grew up in Oklahoma and studied in Los Angeles. Ruscha's work is diverse and experimental. Since childhood he has been interested in commercial art, in the form of advertising, comic books and magazines. This led to his first paintings featuring words, produced in the late 1950s. Ruscha is equally known for his books of deadpan photographs, such as 'Twenty-six Gasoline Stations' of 1963 and volumes of banal photographs of buildings. In his work Ruscha aims to challenge accepted concepts of language and meaning, often by combining unrelated words and images.