Whoever Guessed That Gas Stations Could Look So Dramatic?

Think of the Legion of Honor’s Wild West: Plains to the Pacific (which you may remember from this space last month) as a lovely little preface to the main event: Ed Ruscha and the Great American West, now headlining at the M.F. de Young Museum. Even though Ruscha himself is notoriously taciturn, this huge retrospective of the L.A.-based artist’s work speaks volumes about how we see the West today.

shot in studio

Ed Ruscha, “Coyote,” 1989. Lithograph, 36 x 27 in. Published by the artist. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund., 2000.131.151.1 © Ed Ruscha

Shot in studio Hero

Ed Ruscha, “Hollywood,” 1968. Color screenprint, 17 1/2 x 44 7/16 in.Published by the artist. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund, 2000.131.7.1 © Ed Ruscha

shot in studio hero

Ed Ruscha, “Pool #7,” 1968, from “Pools,” series published in 1997. Chromogenic print, 20 x 20 in. Published by Patrick Painter Editions, Vancouver and Hong Kong. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund, 2000.131.215 © Ed Ruscha

shot in studio

Ed Ruscha, “A Particular Kind of Heaven,” 1983. Oil on canvas, 90 x 136 1/2 in. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund, 2001.85 © Ed Ruscha

shot in studio

Ed Ruscha, “Schwab’s Pharmacy, 1976, from “The Sunset Strip,” series published in 1995. Gelatin silver print from altered negative, 20 x 30 in. Published by Patrick Painter Editions, Vancouver and Hong Kong. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund, 2000.131.193 © Ed Ruscha

 

Featured Image: Ed Ruscha, “Standard Station,” 1966. Color screenprint, 25 5/8 x 40 in. Published by Audrey Sabol, Villanova, PA. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund, 2000.131.5.1 © Ed Ruscha]

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