PRETTY EYES, ELECTRIC BILLS (1976)
About this artwork
During the mid 1970s Ruscha made a series of drawings in pastel using pithy phrases against fields of colour. The sentences and phrases evoke American vernacular and slang, draw attention to a particular experience or recall the excesses of Hollywood culture. Ruscha has noted that this work is ”my way of separating two subjects that are on the far end of the world from each other”, and expresses his enjoyment of finding conflict between things.
- title: PRETTY EYES, ELECTRIC BILLS
- accession number: AR00054
- artist: Ed RuschaAmerican (born 1937)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Pastel and graphite on paper
- date created: 1976
- measurements: 57.40 x 72.10 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.
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.