Born in 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, and was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where his family moved in 1941. At the age of 19, he moved to LosAngeles to attend Chouinard Art Institute, several years later he had his first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery. In 1973, Ruscha began showing his work with Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, and currently shows with Gagosian Gallery. Ruscha has consistentlycombined the landscape of his adopted hometown with conversational language to communicate a particular urban experience. His work varies in methods such as painting, drawing, photography and unique artist books. Early on in his career as a graphic artist continues Ruscha was able to build a specific aesthetic and theme to his work, which still remains evident.
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 deArte 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), and “On the Road” (organized by the Hammer Museum in 2011).