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Ed Ruscha, Robert Redford among 2009 Americans for the Arts honorees

September 1, 2009 | 10:33 am

Ruscha Painter Ed Ruscha has another award to put on his crowded mantel.

The Americans for the Arts has announced the recipients of its 2009 National Arts Awards, which will be handed out on Oct. 5 at a ceremony in New York. Ruscha, who is based in L.A., will receive the Artistic Excellence Award. 

The 71-year-old artist was one of the pioneers of the pop art movement in the '60s. His work frequently incorporates text into the image along with prominent beams of light. His most famous works depict various aspects of Southern California life, including the abundance of billboards and other text-based signage. 

In past years, the organization has honored other visual artists such as Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and Chuck Close.

Ruscha will be joined by actor-director Robert Redford, who is receiving a lifetime achievement award, and author Salman Rushdie, who is being honored for his contribution to the arts.

Other award winners this year include entrepreneur and philanthropist Sidney Harman, actress Rosario Dawson and artist Kelly Richardson.

With an annual budget of close to $9 million, the Americans for the Arts is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the arts and humanities on a national level. 

-- David Ng

Photo: Ed Ruscha. Credit: Crown Point Press

Comments () | Archives (2)

With the selection of Ed Ruscha for its lifetime achievement award, and Kelly Richardson, Americans for the Arts continues its sorry record of honoring avant-gardists---who do not create "art" by any objective definition of the term---while ignoring contemporary painters and sculptors working in traditional (classical/academic) styles.

The Aristos Foundation, by way of contrast, has given retroactive Aristos Awards (http://www.aristos.org/aris-award-1.htm) to such individuals as the pioneering Classical Realist painter Richard Lack (1969 and 1985), among others, for advancing genuine art.

Louis Torres, Co-Editor, Aristos (An Online Review of the Arts)

We have had a few here in LA, most from other places however. Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, Carlos Almaraz, and thee most classical Angeleno, Robert Graham. But just like in jazz and blues, most of the great ones are dead. We are at a low point in art, as instead of becoming more and more about humanity as modernism did, it regressed into regional self absrobed inanities. And few match the meaninglessness and lack of passion of Ruscha, except perhaps conceptualists like Bruce Nauman. Pop fluff rules, and individual human self glorification as the supreme beings in the universe, ignoring creative arts purpose of defining humanity, exploring nature, and searching for god.

Obama has an excelent art collection, that has one Ruscha as a joke piece, as it mocks the waffling nature of liberals. but not as art in itself. For art is about complex relationships, and supposed opposites resolved, through purely visual means. he cant even attempt it, and uses local words to stroke the vanity of the viewer, to elevate his sense of supremecay, over pursuing a common purpose for humanity. Its a diversion from life, and we are paying the price now, his very patrons the ones who created this economic catastrophy. Thanks Broad, et al.

art collegia delenda est


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