West by Midwest

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.

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1959–61 1959

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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1978

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

decade


1980s

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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.

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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.

Related tags


Billy Al Bengston Garo Antreasian Larry Bell Patrick Blackwell Vija Celmins Roy De Forest Joe Goode Dennis Hopper Stephen Kaltenbach Mike Kelley Tom Marioni Jerry McMillan Bruce Nauman Senga Nengudi Allen Ruppersberg Jim Shaw June Wayne William Wegman Mason Williams Albuquerque Art Institute of Chicago ArtCenter Barney’s Beanery California Chouinard Culver City Ferus Gallery LACMA La Cienega Los Angeles MCA Chicago Michigan Nebraska New Mexico Oklahoma Oklahoma City Omaha Pasadena Pasadena Art Museum San Francisco Tamarind Western Avenue Wisconsin Artforum Students Five

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Billy Al Bengston Larry Bell Patrick Blackwell Joe Goode Jerry McMillan Ed Ruscha Jim Shaw Mason Williams Art Institute of Chicago Chouinard Ferus Gallery Huysman Gallery La Cienega Los Angeles Oklahoma Oklahoma City Students Five War Babies