Skip to main content

Edward Ruscha

Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights
1962

On view
Floor 7

Date
1962

Classification
Paintings

Medium
Oil, house paint, ink, and graphite pencil on canvas

Dimensions
Overall: 66 15/16 × 133 1/8in. (170 × 338.1 cm)

Accession number
85.41

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund

Rights and reproductions
© Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha’s background in commercial illustration and advertising inspired paintings of vernacular subjects such as Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights of 1962. With its long horizontal format, the canvas evokes both movie screen and billboard. One of the Hollywood film industry’s best-known logos—Twentieth Century Fox—occupies the pictorial field like the opening credit of a movie, receding in sharp perspective and illuminated by yellow spotlights against the dark background of the night. The bold, three-dimensional letters and yellow klieg rays telegraph the dominance of the movie industry in Los Angeles while also gesturing to an increasing standardization of cultural icons (which have become, as Ruscha’s title suggests, simply “trademarks”). As in Andy Warhol’s work of this period, the pictorial strategies of graphic design and advertising have displaced the traditional compositional structures of painting.




Sunrise

Sunset

A 30-second online art project:
LaTurbo Avedon, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror

Learn more

All visitors aged 12 and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for admission to the Whitney, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18 and older will also be asked to show photo ID. Face coverings are required for all visitors. Learn more about the Whitney’s safety guidelines.