Ed Ruscha. Standard opens at the Rose on February 13

(Waltham, MA – On February 13, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University will open Ed Ruscha: Standard, an exhibition featuring work from across the sixty-year career of one of America’s most innovative and influential artists. Originating at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and drawn largely from its collection, the exhibition will feature more than 70 works of art in a variety of media including painting and film by this iconic Los Angeles-based artist and will be supplemented by selections from the Rose collection. On view in the Lois Foster Gallery through June 9, the exhibition is free and open to the public.

Ed Ruscha / Standard Station, 1966

Ruscha’s art depicts everyday objects – gas stations, street signs, billboards, commercial packaging – yet often triggers philosophical reflections about the relationship between words, things, and ideas. The word “standard,” a reoccurring one in the artist’s vast body of work, is a case in point: it can be a banner or rallying point, an established level of quality, or an oil company’s brand name. In his depictions of Standard stations, Ruscha points to each of these definitions and more, making his repeated treatment of this word/image a revealing structure through which to track and analyze the artist’s development over time.

“Remarkably, given the artist’s stature and influence, the Rose’s presentation of Standard will be the first large-scale solo museum exhibition of Ed Ruscha’s work in the Boston area,” states Christopher Bedford, Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose. “Consequently, this region will have the rare opportunity to look and think deeply about an artistic trajectory over decades that has left an indelible mark on the history of art.”

Working confidently in many media, including painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, and film, Ruscha is recognized as one of the most important artists of our time. His profound influence can be seen in graphic design, cinema, architectural theory, and urban history.


Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, Edward Ruscha was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where his family moved in 1941. In 1956 he moved to Los Angeles to attend the Chouinard Art Institute, and had his first solo exhibition in 1963 at the Ferus Gallery. In 1973, Ruscha began showing his work with Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. He continues to live and work in Los Angeles, and currently shows with Gagosian Gallery.

Ruscha has consistently combined the cityscape of his adopted hometown with vernacular language to communicate a particular urban experience. Encompassing painting, drawing, photography, and artist’s books, Ruscha’s work holds the mirror up to the banality of urban life and gives order to the barrage of mass media-fed images and information that confronts us daily. Ruscha’s early career as a graphic artist continues to strongly influence his aesthetic and thematic approach.

Ruscha has been the subject of numerous museum retrospectives that have traveled internationally, including those organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1982; the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 2000; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2002; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 2004; the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2004; and the Jeu de Paume in 2006. In 2005, Ruscha was the United States representative at the 51st Venice Biennale. Recent exhibitions include “Ed Ruscha: Fifty Years of Painting” (organized by the Hayward Gallery, London, in 2009), “Ed Ruscha: Road Tested” (at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in 2011), “On the Road” (organized by the Hammer Museum in 2011), and “Reading Ed Ruscha” (at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria in 2012).

For more information, please visit www.edruscha.com


Founded in 1961, the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, is an educational and cultural institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting the finest of modern and contemporary art. The programs of the Rose adhere to the overall mission of the university, embracing its values of academic excellence, social justice and freedom of expression. The museum’s permanent collection of postwar and contemporary art is unequalled in New England and among the best at any university art museum in the United States.

Located on Brandeis University’s campus at 415 South Street, Waltham, MA, the museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.brandeis.edu/rose/ or call 781-736-3434.

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