Oklahoma Contemporary presents “Ed Ruscha: OKLA”, the first solo exhibition of work by Ed Ruscha in the artist’s hometown and the second major exhibition in Oklahoma Contemporary’s new location. The exhibition is on view through July 5, 2021.
Ruscha has, over the past six decades, produced a diverse and highly influential body of work encompassing paintings, drawings, in prints, books, photographs and films. The West is a primary subject, from his frequent evocations of the L.A. landscape to his meditations on the open road. Lore has likewise developed about his life, from having heeded the call to “Go West, young man,” moving to California the 1950s, to his current status as unofficial artist laureate of Los Angeles. Yet these narratives overlook a crucial biographical fact: that he went West to L.A. from someplace else, and that place was Oklahoma City, where he grew up.
“Ed Ruscha: OKLA” is the first exhibition to focus on the artist’s Oklahoma roots—his family, his upbringing and his discovery of his calling as an artist. Featuring objects spanning Ruscha’s career, the exhibition showcases iconic pieces such as Twentysix Gasoline Stations and Chocolate Room alongside newer bodies of work, including two Drum Skins paintings. The exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Ad Astra Foundation, Gagosian and Annie Bohanon.
Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown OKC campus, designed by architect Rand Elliott to reflect and pay homage to Oklahoma’s famed skies and ever-changing light, debuted in 2020 to praise throughout architectural press. The inclusive center for the arts is a home for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience art, encounter new ideas and ignite their creative potential. Through exhibitions, performances, programs, community-building initiatives and outdoor installations, Oklahoma Contemporary creates opportunities for everyone to celebrate contemporary culture and artistic expression.
Please click here to view a virtual tour of the exhibition.