Twentysix Gasoline Stations by Michalis Pichler

“The eccentric stations were the first ones I threw out.” This quote from a 1969 interview with Ed Ruscha is the final image in this series of photographs of seemingly identical gas stations across a modern German landscape. Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Pichler’s take on Rusha’s celebrated and influential work of the same name, pays homage to what is hailed as the first artist book. This reworking of Rusha’s classic is not without the humor of its predecessor. At first glance each station is the same unsullied view, crisp and nearly comforting in it mundanity. It is distinguished simply by the the name of each location captioned at the bottom of each photograph. Pichler’s update of Rusha’s renowned work is a reexamination of an urban space frozen in a post-war America that seems beckon the slyest smile while paying tribute to a remarkable imprint in art history.

Printed Matter Inc., New York, 2009

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