Ed Ruscha

MAD SCIENTIST (1975)

About this artwork

During the mid 1970s, Ruscha made a series of drawings in pastel using pithy phrases set against colourful backdrops. The sentences and phrases evoke American vernacular and slang, draw attention to a particular experience of the artist, or recall the excesses of Hollywood culture. The phrase in this work suggests the mad scientist as portrayed in the movies, but may also refer to the progress and experiments taking place in science in America during the 1960s and 1970s.

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  • title: MAD SCIENTIST
  • accession number: AR00051
  • artist: Ed RuschaAmerican (born 1937)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1975
  • measurements: 57.80 x 72.40 cm (framed: 73.00 x 87.00 x 4.00 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • 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.