Ed Ruscha

decade

1930s

1937

Ed Ruscha is born in Omaha.

decade

1940s

1942

Ed Ruscha’s family moves to Oklahoma City.

1942

Ed Ruscha visits Los Angeles with his family as a teenager.

1940s 1942

Joe Goode and Ed Ruscha become neighbors in Oklahoma City. In the second grade they become classmates and friends at Rosary Elementary School. They attend the same church, St. Francis of Assisi, and take art classes together.

decade

1950s

1953

Friends Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha take art classes at Classen High School in Oklahoma City.

1956

After graduating high school, childhood friends Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams head to California on historic Route 66 in a 1950 Ford sedan.

1956

Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams share a room at Mrs. Steer’s Boarding House near downtown Los Angeles.

1956

Ed Ruscha plans on enrolling at ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles, but the student quota is full. Ruscha attends Chouinard Art Institute instead.

late 1950s 1957

Barney’s Beanery, a popular West Hollywood bar, is an important source of community for Billy Al Bengston, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha, as well as others who show at the Ferus Gallery.

1958

On a return visit to Oklahoma in 1958, Ed Ruscha reads Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

1958–60 1958

At Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha meet and befriend fellow Okies Patrick Blackwell and Don Moore. They refer to themselves as the “Students Five.”

1958

On a winter trip back from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, Ed Ruscha convinces Jerry McMillan to come to Los Angeles for school, which then motivates Joe Goode to also head west and pursue his artistic career.

1959

Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, and Patrick Blackwell in the studio space they shared while in school at Chouinard, c. 1959. Photo: Patrick Blackwell. Courtesy of the Joe Goode Studio.
Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, and Patrick Blackwell in the studio space they shared while in school at Chouinard, c. 1959. Photo: Patrick Blackwell. Courtesy of the Joe Goode Studio.

1959–61 1959

Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha work at Al Cassell’s Patio Restaurant.

1959

Group oral history interview conducted by Andrew Perchuck and Rani Singh, featuring Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, and Mason Williams, Jan 23, 2007. Part of "Modern Art in Los Angeles : Okies go west," Getty Research Institute, 2007.

decade

1960s

1960s 1960

Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha participate in the La Cienega gallery walks on Monday nights. Afterwards, he and his friends hang out at Barney’s Beanery, a favorite watering hole for many young Los Angeles–based artists.

1960

Ed Ruscha graduates from Chouinard.

1959–61 1960

Patrick Blackwell, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, Don Moore, and Ed Ruscha (who refer to themselves as the Students Five) live with Wally Batterson in a house on Madison Avenue in Silver Lake, California; all attend Chouinard. They then move into a little house on New Hampshire Avenue in Hollywood.

1960

The Oklahoma City Art Center organizes the group exhibition Four Oklahoma Artists featuring Patrick Blackwell, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha.

1961–65 1961

Ed Ruscha has solo exhibitions at the Ferus Gallery.

1960s 1961

After graduation, Joe Goode, Ed Ruscha, and Patty, Jerry McMillan’s future wife, work for Sunset House, a mail-order firm.

1962

Works by Joe Goode and Ed Ruscha are included in Walter Hopps’s New Painting of Common Objects exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum.

1963

“Rejected Oct 2, 1963 by the Library of Congress Washington 25, D.C.” Advertisement by Ed Ruscha in Artforum 2, no. 9 (1964): 55. © Ed Ruscha.

1963

Billy Al Bengston, Joe Goode, and Ed Ruscha are included in the group exhibition Six More at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.

1963

Joe Goode and Ed Ruscha hitchhike from Los Angeles to New York.

1963

Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, and Ed Ruscha are included in a group show at the Ferus Gallery.

1964

Dennis Hopper, Ed Ruscha, 1964. Gelatin silver print; image: 20 × 29 ½ in., framed: 26 × 36 in. © Dennis Hopper. Courtesy of The Hopper Art Trust.

1964

Ed Ruscha has a solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery. At the opening he meets actor Dennis Hopper, whose 1961 photograph Double Standard, taken on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue through his car windshield, is used in the show’s announcement. Hopper buys Standard Station, Amarillo Texas (1963), which was featured in the exhibition. After the opening, Hopper and Ruscha become lifelong friends.

1964

After leaving the Navy in 1963, Mason Williams returns to Los Angeles and lives with Ed Ruscha.

1964

Mason Williams occasionally helps Ed Ruscha lay out Artforum.

1965

Ed Ruscha moves into a large studio on Western Avenue in Los Angeles. He stays there for almost 20 years.

1965–69 1965

Under the pseudonym Eddie Russia, Ruscha assumes the role of art director for Artforum, which moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 1965 and rents a space above the Ferus Gallery. Ruscha remains the art director two years after the publication moves to New York from Los Angeles.

1966

Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha checking press proof of his Surrealism cover for Artforum, 1966. Courtesy of Jerry McMillan and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.

1967

Ed Ruscha, Mason Williams, and Patrick Blackwell, Royal Road Test, 1980. Offset printing; spiral bound with color card-stock. 3 copies: 9 9/16 × 6 ½ in (24.2 × 16.5 cm), 60 pp. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, National Endowment for the Arts Purchase Grant and gift of the MCA Men’s Council, 2012.94. © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1967

Allen Ruppersberg participates in his first group exhibition, New Directions, at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. The show also includes Bruce Nauman and Ed Ruscha.

1967

Patrick Blackwell, Ed Ruscha, and Mason Williams turn what they called a “caper”—improvised actions or “goofy things,” in Williams’s words—into an artist book called Royal Road Test, which documents the remains of a typewriter hurled out of their car.

1968

A black-and-white photograph of two men shaking hands is mounted to a light-colored piece of wood.
Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston, Business Cards, 1968. Offset on paper with business card and gold-backed paper stapled on final page; punched and tied with leather cord with silver gelatin print and photo corners adhered to wood-grained Bristol board; 7 1/16 × 5 9/16 in. (18 × 14 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Robert L. Mollers, 2012.95. © Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Ed Ruscha, Mint (Red), 1968. Oil on canvas; 60 × 55 in. (152.4 × 139.7 cm). Private Collection. © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.
Jerry McMillan, Joe Goode & Ed Ruscha on horseback, 1968. Courtesy of Jerry McMillan and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.

1968

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) organizes a Billy Al Bengston retrospective that includes furniture from Larry Bell and Ed Ruscha, with installation design by a young Frank Gehry. Ruscha designs the cover for the catalogue, which is made of sandpaper.

1968

Billy Al Bengston and Ed Ruscha collaborate on Business Cards (1968), an artist book in the MCA’s collection.

1968

Ed Ruscha designs an album cover for Mason Williams.

1969

Ed Ruscha, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1969. Offset print on paper; perfect bound, softcover; 7 1/16 x 5 9/16 in. (18 x 14 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Grant and gift of the Men’s Council, 2012.84. © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jerry McMillan, Spontaneous Happening in Jerry’s Studio. Mason Williams, Thelma Camacho, Ed Ruscha, and Jerry McMillan, 1969. Gelatin silver print; 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Courtesy of Jerry McMillan and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.

1969

Ed Ruscha is invited to work at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop on a two-month fellowship.

1969

Billy Al Bengston establishes the Artist Studio in his quarters on Mildred Avenue in Venice, California, as a way to get around the commercial gallery system. The space shows brief exhibitions of works by friends, including Larry Bell, Joe Goode, and Ed Ruscha, and the artists are able to keep all profits.

1969

Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams collaborate on the artists’ book Crackers.

decade

1970s

1970

Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha Covered with 12 of his Books, 1970. Gelatin silver print; 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Courtesy of Jerry McMillan and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.
Jerry McMillan, Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan (self-portrait), and Ed Ruscha with Ed’s 39 Chevy, 1970. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Jerry McMillan and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.
Joe Goode and Ed Ruscha, Matches + Tube, c. 1970. Oil on canvas; 8 × 10 in. Courtesy of the Joe Goode Studio.

1970

Art in America publishes Billy Al Bengston‘s “Los Angeles Artists’ Studios,” a photo essay featuring his own studio along with Larry Bell’s, Joe Goode’s, and Ed Ruscha’s, among others.

1971

Allen Ruppersberg offers his LA studio as the location of Ed Ruscha’s first film, Premium, which stars artist Larry Bell.

1970s 1971

Ed Ruscha buys 50 of William Wegman’s photographs for $4,400.

1972

Jerry McMillan, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Ruscha, Ken Price, and Joe Goode at Boxing Match, 1972. Gelatin silver print; 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Courtesy of Jerry McMillan and Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica.

1978

Jim Shaw self-publishes The End Is Near with the help of Danna Ruscha, Ed Ruscha’s wife.

decade

1980s

1980

Ed Ruscha, Mason Williams, and Patrick Blackwell, Royal Road Test, 1980. Offset printing; spiral bound with color card-stock. 3 copies: 9 9/16 × 6 ½ in (24.2 × 16.5 cm), 60 pp. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, National Endowment for the Arts Purchase Grant and gift of the MCA Men’s Council, 2012.94. © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1981

Jim Shaw self-publishes Life and Death: A Non-Narrative Narrative with the help of Danna Ruscha, Ed Ruscha’s wife.

1981

Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Joe Goode, Bruce Nauman, and Ed Ruscha are included in the group exhibition Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

1986

Ed Ruscha, Words Without Thoughts, 1986. Acrylic on canvas; 54 × 60 in. (137.2 × 152.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Lannan Foundation, 1997.49. © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1986

Ed Ruscha creates lithographs at the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

1987

Danna Ruscha is included in Jim Shaw’s video Billy Goes to a Party.

1989

Joe Goode, Jerry McMillan, and Ed Ruscha are featured in a three-person exhibition at the Oklahoma City Art Museum.

decade

1990s

1990

Danna, Ed, and Paul Ruscha help publish the book version of Jim Shaw’s Thrift Store Paintings.

decade

2000s

2005

After a fire in his studio, Joe Goode temporarily moves in and uses Ed Ruscha’s studio in Culver City, California.

2009

Ed Ruscha creates an artist book version of On the Road.

2009

Ed Ruscha begins a series of paintings that feature passages from On the Road.

decade

2010s

2010

The Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, celebrates 50 years with two exhibitions that feature works by artists including Garo Antreasian, Vija Celmins, Roy De Forest, Ed Ruscha, and June Wayne.

2011

Joe Goode, Stephen Kaltenbach, Mike Kelley, Tom Marioni, Bruce Nauman, Senga Nengudi, Allen Ruppersberg, and Ed Ruscha are included in the group exhibition Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

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