Twentysix Gasoline Stations Revisited

One of the first “artist’s books” which was published in 1963 was Ed Ruscha’s Twenty Six Gasoline Stations. It featured photographs of gas stations on a trip from Los Angeles to Okalahoma.



Inspired in part by documentary photography, notably Walker Evans, this series seemed to reject social issues in favour of a more generic inventory over space and time, perhaps a different, if not minimalist, kind of narrative.

An interesting aside is that Ruscha would not leave the gas station theme painting this image a few years later.

French photographer Eric Tabuchi has revisited gas stations in a series called Twenty Six Abandoned Gasoline Stations. It is quite interesting to compare each series, 40 years apart and with the Atlantic Ocean between them. The same detached aesthetic shows us now a journey through a road landscape that features the decline of gasoline culture as perhaps inevitable, with nature on the brink of reclamation.




And here is a great page of gas stations by some legendary photographers.

Montreal has it’s own legendary gas station on Nun’s Island. What will become of it?
Photo by DJ EZ Pants

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