Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) is one of the most influential contemporary artists working today and is associated with California Conceptualism and the Pop Art movement. In 1956, Ruscha moved to Los Angeles and began incorporating local architecture and street scenes into paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs. In the early 1980s, he began to use typography of dynamic words and phrases. In signature works such as WALL ROCKET, Ruscha sets a catchy yet meaningless phrase against a majestic mountain range. The Ancients Stole All Our Great Ideas is a line from Mark Twain’s autobiography and the title of an exhibition he curated at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in 2012.
Ruscha’s work is in museums and collections all over the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Tate Gallery, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.