California artist Ed Ruscha has been called the Andy Warhol of the West. He's probably best known for his early paintings and photographs of gas stations, signs, and the culture that grew up around the road. So it may come as no surprise that Ruscha was inspired, early in his life, by Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road. In recent years, Ruscha has made "word paintings," single words or phrases on large canvasses, sometimes overlaid on landscapes. Some of those paintings, with passages from On the Road, are on display at the Denver Art Museum, along with pages from the On the Road picture book Ruscha created. The exhibition is called, Ed Ruscha: On the Road. Ruscha talks to Ryan Warner.
Ed Ruscha, Mañana, 2009. Acrylic on canvas. Private collection. Image courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
Ed Ruscha, Greatest Passer, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Donald B. Marron. Image courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.