Ed Ruscha at the DeYoung

Today, Olivia and I saw the Ed Ruscha show at the DeYoung Museum. Olivia especially liked Ruscha’s later work, the paintings with words like “Rodeo” and “A Particular Kind of Heaven” and “The End,” and the silhouettes of howling wolves and buffaloes, with vertical lines painted through like old film. I liked the early work, the Standard Oil paintings and the photographs of gas stations, structures that seemed graphically distinctive then, and utterly generic today.

As we walked through the exhibition, I remembered working at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, when Ruscha’s great mural, “Brave Men Run in My Family,” was installed. I love how looking at art causes your mind to make associations to other things you’ve seen, other experiences you’ve had, the past. I looked up the mural and saw it was installed twenty years ago, in 1995-96. Before I met Tim, before we got married, before we adopted our children. Another lifetime.

Ed Ruscha and the American West runs at the DeYoung through October 9. See it if you can. ~





Images courtesy:

DeYoung Museum

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego


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