Ruscha has been the subject of numerous museum retrospectives that have traveled internationally, including those organized by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1982, Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in 2002, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2004. In 2005, Ruscha was the U.S. representative at the 51st Venice Biennale. In 2001, Ruscha was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In October 2009, he and Robert Redford were honored with National Arts Awards by the Americans for the Arts.
The artist’s current retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in London (through January 10th) focuses exclusively on his paintings. In addition to exploring the impact of print and graphic media on the artist’s aesthetic strategies, it also focuses on the conceptual underpinnings of his approach to painting and on his incisive portrait of American culture. As Larry Gagosian explains, “Richard Prince put it as well as anybody when he described Ed Ruscha as the West Coast Warhol.”