Born in Nebraska in 1 937, Ed Ruscha has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1956. His works have been exhibited in the collections on the most important museums world wide and his activity, in continuous evolution for more than forty years, has deeply influenced various generations of artists for many of which Ruscha is a reference model and a source of inspiration for the research of new techniques and experiments. Ed Ruscha is a synonym of Los Angeles. Roads and highways, parking lots, gasoline stations, palms, swimming pools, residential areas and Hollywood Glamour are, in fact, the repeated reference points of his works. His artistic production interweaves different forms of expression that go from Pop to Conceptual Art, from Abstraction to Realism, experimenting the most various techniques and using, in some works on pa per, the most unusual materials (gun powder, boiled flowers, chocolate, tincture of iodine, spinach, blood, egg yolk), as well as acrylic and pastels. Central in the artistic route of Ruscha is the relationship between visual and verbal control. Dominating in his work is, in fact, the use of language, explored, in its evocative power, with subtle and inexpressive irony, from single words to slogans (token from newspapers, dictionaries, rood signs, film and radio conversations) to enigmatic word games whose meaning remains deliberately evasive. This book goes along with the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of the artist in Italy at the MAXX I – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (1st July-3rd October 2004), coproduced with the MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.