Ed Ruscha was part of the first generation of Pop artists whose work featured in New Painting of Common Objects, the 1962 exhibition that also included pieces by Lichtenstein and Warhol. His work has much in common with Pop art but escapes easy categorisation.
Ruscha is best known for his word paintings, featuring slogans written in capitalised text over a background, as in his 1963 piece Twentysix Gasoline Stations. As his style developed he experimented with 'redacting' his word paintings through censor strips, and created his own typeface, Boy Scout Utility Modern, inspired by the Hollywood sign.
As well as his interest in the power and enigma of language, he is also drawn to exploring the culture of the American west coast. This exhibition compares the urban architecture of Ed Ruscha’s images with that of Blackburn, examining the history of the town through the museum’s collections.