Ed Ruscha, Robert Redford among 2009 Americans for the Arts honorees


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Painter Ed Ruscha has another award to put on his crowded mantel.

The Americans for the Arts has announced the recipients of its 2009 National Arts Awards, which will be handed out on Oct. 5 at a ceremony in New York. Ruscha, who is based in L.A., will receive the Artistic Excellence Award.


The 71-year-old artist was one of the pioneers of the pop art movement in the ‘60s. His work frequently incorporates text into the image along with prominent beams of light. His most famous works depict various aspects of Southern California life, including the abundance of billboards and other text-based signage.

In past years, the organization has honored other visual artists such as Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and Chuck Close.

Ruscha will be joined by actor-director Robert Redford, who is receiving a lifetime achievement award, and author Salman Rushdie, who is being honored for his contribution to the arts.

Other award winners this year include entrepreneur and philanthropist Sidney Harman, actress Rosario Dawson and artist Kelly Richardson.

With an annual budget of close to $9 million, the Americans for the Arts is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the arts and humanities on a national level.

-- David Ng