Ed Ruscha DEC. 30th 2005 © Ed Ruscha.

Los Angeles in the Sixties and Seventies - Art, Urban Form and Polemic

In this talk, Richard J. Williams, Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures, University of Edinburgh, will put the work of Ed Ruscha and his contemporaries in the context of Los Angeles in the 1960s and early 1970s, a period when it was not only booming economically, but developing radically new urban forms. Ruscha’s role in describing those forms is crucial. So too is the work of the English architectural critic and historian, Reyner Banham, whose 1971 book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, is one of the great defences of the city, as well as an acute set of observations about its appearance. The talk provides an introduction to Banham, and the city at a vital moment in its development.