'Ed Ruscha: On the Road' at the Hammer Museum: Are Art Legends Obligated to Keep Things Fresh?

Ed Ruscha's Greatest Passers, now on view at the Hammer Museum
Ed Ruscha's Greatest Passers, now on view at the Hammer Museum
© Ed Ruscha, Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery

In our print edition this week, Catherine Wagley's pointed critique of the Hammer's summer exhibit of Ed Ruscha paintings notes that while Ruscha's new works were inspired by Jack Kerouac's beat masterpiece On the Road, they seem all-too-familiar. She writes:

They have a devil-may-care frankness that recalls early instances in Ruscha's work. And the iconic mountains centered in the backgrounds come directly from the riffs on American landscape that Ruscha began making in 1998...

...Once an image has made its way into a museum or art history book, make something even loosely the same again, and you're in danger of redundancy.

The story includes interviews with various curators and gallerists to address the question of to what extent artists have to change.

Read the full story here: "Ed Ruscha: On the Road" at the Hammer Museum

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