Blank Signs #3 (2004)
About this artwork
Ruscha spent much of his life documenting the characteristics of Los Angeles. This one of four prints focuses on the street sign, a ubiquitous feature of Los Angeles and its surrounding motorways. This work relates to themes explored in Ruscha’s earlier work, of long haul road trips across generic highways. What should be garish, bright signs loaded with information are instead wiped clean, to resemble an abstract series of white shapes. Ruscha has said, “My work is abstract in the sense that even recognisable objects become just shapes – abstract shapes.”
- title: Blank Signs #3
- accession number: AL00327
- artist: Ed RuschaAmerican (born 1937)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- medium: Etching
- date created: 2004
- measurements: 32.40 x 30.50 cm (framed: 38.20 x 35.50 x 3.70 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.