Ed Ruscha

HONK

About this artwork

The sound and effects of a car horn are suggested through the composition and brash colours of the graphic letters which appear to come to a sudden halt on the page. Ruscha frequently used visual alliteration in this way to conjure up the words he chose to paint. ‘Honk’ suggests the artist’s fascination with cars and highways and the impact of these post-war consumer industries on cities and towns in the United States. The word is also of the type found in comic books used to bring to life the ongoing narrative. The use of words became popular in Americanand British 'Pop Art' in the 1960s, although Ruscha made a speciality of depicting words on their own.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    HONK
  • date created:
    1962
  • materials:
    Acrylic paint on paper
  • measurements:
    27.90 x 35.20 cm (framed: 38.00 x 45.50 x 3.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00184
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • glossary:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha