First Edition of Ed Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations, one of his own personal copies; Inscribed by Him

  • Twentysix Gasoline Stations.

Twentysix Gasoline Stations.

$18,000.00

Item Number: 3101

Alhambra, California: A National Excelsior Publication, 1963.

First edition, one of 400 numbered copies of the artist’s first book. Small octavo, original white wrappers, printed in red. This example was one of Ruscha’s personal author copies. He presented this copy to a fellow artist whose parents owned Anderson, Ritchie & Simon—the printing firm that produced many of Ruscha’s books.Presentation copy, inscribed by Ed Ruscha and additionally signed again by Ruscha on the dedication page. Spine slightly toned, near fine. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

Ed Ruscha’s first book, a seminal "bookwork", one of the most influential conceptual art works, it served as a kind of tonic, liberating the artists’ book from many of its traditional emphases. "The first book came out of a play with words. The title came before I even thought about the pictures. I like the word ‘gasoline’ and I like the specific quality of ‘twenty-six.’ If you look at the book you will see how well the typography works - I worked on all that before I took the photographs. Above all, the photographs I use are not ‘arty’ in any sense of the word. . . . One of the purposes of my book has to do with making a mass-produced object. The final product has a very commercial, professional feel to it . . . . I have eliminated all text from my books — I want absolutely neutral material. My pictures are not that interesting, nor the subject matter . . . my book is more like a collection of ‘ready- 56 item 241 mades’. Edward Ruscha, Artforum interview, 1965; Lippard, Six Years: The dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972, p.11. "The most renowned series of artist’s books in the history of the genre" (Parr & Badger, The Photobook: A History, Vol. II; Castleman, A Century of Artists Books, p.167.)

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