Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights, 1962
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Ed Ruscha’s subject matter is often a single word or phrase that alludes to the culture and iconography of Los Angeles—its freeways, apartment buildings, billboards, and advertising. Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights presents one of the Hollywood film industry’s best-known logos. “The subject [of Los Angeles],” Ruscha explained, “became a general metaphor for anxiety and the speed of modern life.” Like the company’s actual logo, the letters recede in sharp perspective, illuminated by yellow spotlights against a dark triangle of night.