Edward Ruscha

Our Flag


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Edward Ruscha born 1937
Acrylic on canvas
Object: 1778 × 3505 mm
Lent by Jimmy Iovine and Liberty Ross, Los Angeles
On short term loan

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Ruscha has painted American flags several times throughout his career. With his earlier flags, from the 1980s, he chose the subject because of their status as common objects and instantly recognisable symbols. He returned to the subject several years later. Now the flag is torn and damaged, showing the passage of time. This may also be interpreted as a comment on the divisive nature of recent political events. Of this work Ruscha has said ‘any flag that flies for 250 years is bound to get a little ragged and tattered, especially if we help it along.’

Gallery label, July 2019

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