Ed Ruscha and The Great American West at The De Young SF

Ruscha 769

Ruscha 759

My wife’s dad came out to SF from Florida for a visit and we had the chance to all go see the Ed Ruscha exhibit. Ed Ruscha is a Pop Artist who has worked in many different mediums. Represented here were some works in pencil, oil, acrylic, gelatin silver prints, lithograph prints and even a few ‘odd medium’ pieces, works in Pepto, Caviar and Metrecal which was a weight loss beverage from the 60’s which he used to screen images of Hollywood, so there’s a bit of cynical social commentary in his work also.

Ad for Metrecal

One of the reasons this exhibit was special is that my wife’s dad used to collect art some years ago and had some lithographs  of Ruscha’s of which he only did a limited number of. Awhile ago he gave us one as a gift and he passed on another to my wife’s brother. The one we got was similar to this one titled ‘Time is UP’ (ours is in storage)

Time Is Up 1989 by Edward Ruscha born 1937
Time Is Up 1989 Edward Ruscha

The one her brother got we always just called ‘The Sign’. This one was represented in the show and there was an artist print titled ‘Untitled’

Ruscha 626
Ed Ruscha ‘Untitled’ 1989 litho

There were a few pieces related to this series that I’ll post below as well but it was cool to see this piece in a gallery when we’re so used to seeing it hanging in the background when we go visit my wife’s brother.

I especially enjoyed the Hollywood stuff since I lived there for quite some time. I also enjoyed the ultra wide panoramic stuff, they really pull you in and give you a sense of that ‘American expanse’.

(The pics are all mine, so I apologize for the incidental selfie reflections in some of the pieces, there are pro images of this stuff online) I also didn’t catch all of the titles.

Ruscha 581
Untitled from Circus/Dwarf 1958

Ruscha 600

Ruscha 596
America’s Future 1979
Ruscha 602
Well, Well 1979
Ruscha 589
Two Similar Cities 1980
Ruscha 587
Home with Complete Electronic Security System 1982

There were these variations on an image of a gas station:

Ruscha 595
Standard Study #3 1962
Ruscha 593
Standard Study #3 1962
Ruscha 591
Standard Station Amarillo Texas 1963
Ruscha 609
Burning Gas Station 1965-66
Ruscha 620
Station 2003 (2003)
Ruscha 618
Roadmaster 2003
Ruscha 619
Ghost Station 2011

Ruscha 623

Ruscha 608
Enter a caption

Ruscha 607

Ruscha 604

Ruscha 631
150 Miles 1989
Ruscha 626
Untitled 1989
Ruscha 624
Enter a caption
Ruscha 636
Pahrump Signage 2003
Ruscha 635
Untitled 2004
Ruscha 637
Blank Sign #1-4


Ruscha 641

Ruscha 645
Pool #1-9 1997
Ruscha 642
The Fourteen Hundred 6753 Selma Avenue
Ruscha 644
Doheny Towers
Ruscha 650
Tool and Die 1993
Ruscha 647d
Mufflers 1996
Ruscha 647b
Tech Chem 1994
Ruscha 647a
Telephone 1993
Ruscha 651
Blue Collar Tires 1992
Ruscha 653
The Old Tool And Die Building 2004
Ruscha 653b
The Old Tool and Die Building 2004
Ruscha 677
Buffalo 1989
Ruscha 687
Asphalt Jungle 1991
Ruscha 686A
Western 1991
Ruscha 683
Indian Study 1994-95
Ruscha 692
Coyote 1989
Ruscha 690
Coyote 1986


Ruscha 672
Sunset-Gardner Cross 1998-99

Ruscha 702

Ruscha 696
Hollywood Study #8 1968
Ruscha 712b
House of Hollywood 1982-86
Ruscha 712
House of hollywood 1982-86
Ruscha 706
Hollywood in The Rain 1969
Ruscha 708
Hollywood 1969
Ruscha 703
Hollywood With Observatory 1969
Ruscha 710
The Back Of Hollywood 1977
Ruscha 699
Fruit-Metrecal Hollywood  1971
Ruscha 697
Pepto-Caviar Hollywood 1970
Ruscha 657
The Whisky 1966
Gazzarri’s 1966
Ruscha 659
Schwab’s Pharmacy 1976
FullSizeRender (13)
Filthy McNasty’s 1976
FullSizeRender (12)
Liquor Locker 1976

Most of the rest of the exhibit consisted of assorted typographical pieces

Tex 1990
Tex 1990
Ruscha 730
Rustic Pines 1967
God Knows Where
Enter a caption

FullSizeRender (18)

Busted Glass

FullSizeRender (15)
Texas 1962
Adios 1969

Ruscha 739

Ruscha 743
The End 1991
Ruscha 745
The End #54 1994
Ruscha 747
The Final End 1991-92
Ruscha 752
The Absolute End 1982

Ruscha 758

Ruscha 756

Ruscha 755

For further research into the works of Ed Ruscha, check out this excellent resource via Artsy

Their Ed Ruscha page contains over 400 of his works as well as links to articles and gallery exhibitions.

August 16th 2016 Updates

Zephyr Day 2 iphone 2 253
On the rails somewhere in the Midwest 2015 

I haven’t posted over here in a few weeks but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been actively blogging. I’ll also be out of town for a week or so as we’re gonna take the train down the coast to Camarillo Ca. to visit fam. About a year ago we took the train across the country  from Cali. to New York via Chicago and we loved it so much we had to scratch the itch albeit with a shorter trip this time.


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Meanwhile I’ve been ripping it up with my band and we recently appeared on Radio Valencia. We are also working on new material and we offer a sneak peek of one of the songs during that visit.



I’ve also been posting pretty regularly on my photoblog alphastarephotography so do follow that if you haven’t already.

Last year I posted quite a few photos from the train via my Instagram so if you are into that, you can follow our adventure there!

See you when I return!