About this artwork
‘US’ was made by Ruscha at a time when he said he “wanted to make something smoky and difficult to see.” Smoky, gothic lettering is obscured by grasses against a grey, blank backdrop. Throughout his career Ruscha has made a range of prints, drawings and paintings exploring single words, motifs or phrases with little or no context. The lettering in this print could be read in two ways, either as ‘us’, or as an abbreviation of United States. Ruscha has used the ‘mixographia’ technique to create this print, a process which allows deep texture and fine surface detail to be created.
- title: US
- accession number: AL00316
- artist: Ed RuschaAmerican (born 1937)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- medium: Embossed paper in frame
- date created: 1995
- measurements: 59.40 x 81.90 cm (framed: 75.20 x 97.60 x 5.70 cm)
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Artist Rooms Foundation 2011
- copyright: © 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.