Artist’s books are made and conceived by artists, and come in many different shapes and sizes as a result. Edward Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations comprises 26 photographs of gas stations along Route 66 from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, and is intended as a work of art in its own right, rather than as a means of reproducing a collection of images.
Produced in an unlimited edition, the book was deliberately affordable, an attempt to bring art to a wider audience. ‘The coolest gaze in American art,’ said the novelist JG Ballard of Ruscha, and you certainly feel his beautiful slow blink as you turn these pages. Ruscha, incidentally, learned to set type as a young man, something he claims has had a profound influence on his working practice.