See Ed Ruscha’s modern take on the cyclical nature of civilisation, evocative of Thomas Cole’s series of the same name.
Ed Ruscha (1937–) has shaped the way we see the American landscape over the span of his influential six-decade career. Elegant, highly distilled, and often humorous, Ruscha’s work conveys a unique brand of visual American zen.
from the 360º view of Ed Ruscha: Course of Empire / @national_gallery London, courtesy @gagosian / until Sun 7 October / visit GalleriesNow.net/360-art for more 360° views #360art #360photo #firstlookart #EdRuscha #TheNationalGallery #London #gallery #exhibition #art #contemporaryart #GalleriesNow #ID13030
In 2005, Ruscha was asked to represent the United States at the 51st Venice Biennale. Dealing with the theme of “progress, or the course of progress,” Ruscha’s Biennale installation evoked Thomas Cole’s famous painting cycle of 1833–36, ‘The Course of Empire’, concurrently on display in the Ground Floor Galleries.
Unlike Cole’s grandiose vision of the rise and fall of a classical civilisation, Ruscha’s ‘Course of Empire’ focuses on the industrial buildings of Los Angeles – simple, box-like, utilitarian structures with no pretension to beauty but redolent of economic might and global reach.Ed Ruscha, The Old Tech-Chem Building, 2003. Acrylic on canvas 123.2 × 278.1 cm. The Broad © Ed Ruscha / photography Paul Ruscha
Ed Ruscha, The Old Tool & Die Building, 2004. Acrylic and coloured pencil on canvas 132.4 × 295 cm. Whitney Museum of American Art 2005.135 © Ed Ruscha / photography Paul Ruscha
Ed Ruscha, The Old Trade School Building, 2005. Acrylic and fabricated chalk on canvas 137.5 × 305.3 cm. Whitney Museum of American Art 2005.136 © Ed Ruscha / photography Paul Ruscha