Molten Polyester




Edward Ruscha, American, 1937-
Born: Omaha, NE
Work Locations: Los Angeles, CA


Object Info

Object: painting
Not currently on view
Object ID: 2005.89


Acrylic paint on canvas


Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan and promised gift of Vicki and Kent Logan with additional funds from the Wesley R. Spurry bequest, 2003 Vanderversary Gala, and Museum deaccession funds, in honor of Dianne Vanderlip
See more objects from the Logan Collection.

More Info


width: 72 in, 182.8800 cm; height: 64 in, 162.5600 cm; frame height: 65 3/8 in, 166.0525 cm; frame width: 73 1/8 in, 185.7375 cm; frame depth: 2 1/4 in, 5.7150 cm


Modern and Contemporary Art

Extended Info

For over forty years, Ed Ruscha has continued to extend the language of West Coast Pop art through his combination of symbolic text and iconic imagery. He has made a career of juxtaposing words and images without any logical connection to each other, allowing the words to signify meanings outside of their standard definitions. In the development of his rich visual metaphors, Ruscha has often looked to the timelessness of landscape to elevate and transform the most mundane of verbal passages. He loves the “evocative power of words” and does not expect the viewer to interpret his work in any particular way: “I know that viewers of my work looking at an English word are going to try to translate it into a meaning. But often I’d like them to lose the meaning and just look at the word as an abstract jumble. Yet I’m not giving the viewer any guidance as to how to respond. I think the artist should stand by in silence.”

In the painted words Molten Polyester, we may conceive of the most unnatural of states in a surreal industrial process, yet the backdrop for those words recalls the serenity of nature not unlike that which we know so well here in Colorado. As always, Ruscha poses questions rather than presenting us with answers. Is this one painting or two? Are we seeing a reflection of the mountain in a frigid alpine lake, or are we experiencing the artifice of mechanical duplication? Are the words Molten Polyester meant to be read as a single statement, or are they separate? In true dada/surrealist tradition, the answer may be both all and none of the above.


© Ed Ruscha

Exhibition History

  • Hamilton 3rd Floor Modern & Contemporary rotation--Denver Art Museum, 8/2006—4/2008
  • "Ed Ruscha: On the Road"--Denver Art Museum, 12/24/2011-4/22/2012