F&M College Library

Artists' Books at Franklin & Marshall

Twentysix Gasoline Stations ~ Bibliography of Scholarship



Most of the critics and scholars who write about contemporary artists’ books agree that the 1963 publication of Twentysix Gasoline Stations, by Edward Ruscha (American painter, photographer, and printmaker, b. 1937), “is generally cited as the founding instance of artist’s bookmaking” (Drucker 76).  F&M’s holding is one of the 3,000 unnumbered copies in the third edition, which was printed in 1969 by Cunningham Press in Alhambra, California, Spec. Coll. TR659 .R87 1969.

Librarian Clive Phillpot and art critic Lucy Lippard, among many others, have offered their considerations of the book--or booklet, as Phillpot calls it--as part of an enduring critical assessment of its significance:

Twentysix Gasoline Stations is the work that established the paradigm for a new concept of the cheap multiple booklet as art” (Phillpot, 4).

“Ruscha’s books were a major starting point for the as-yet-unnamed conceptual art, a so-called movement (actually a medium, or third stream) which made one of its most vital contributions by validating the book as a legitimate medium for visual art” (Lippard 40).

But not everyone was impressed:

Twentysix Gasoline Stations, my ass.  Now there is a really barren, flaccid book, bereft of anything but infatuation with its own cuteness, a stoned version of the Campbell soup cans Ruscha probably saw at Ferus Gallery, even” (Trissel 27).

Regardless, between the first documented review of Twentysix Gasoline Stations (by Philip Leider in the September 1963 issue of Artforum) and the 2013 Various Small Books:  Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha (The MIT Press), which marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ruscha's "paradigm," there exists a rich body of commentary.  The following selected bibliography represents the Twentysix Gasoline Stations scholarship in F&M's collections.  



Drucker, Johanna.  The Century of Artists’ Books.  New York:  Granary Books, 1995.

Lippard, Lucy R.  “The Artists’ Book Goes Public.”  Art in America January/February 1977:  40-41.

Phillpot, Clive.  “Twentysix Gasoline Stations that Shook the World:  the Rise and Fall of Cheap Booklets as Art.”  Art Libraries Journal 18.1 (1993):  4-13.

Trissel, Jim.  “The Rise of the Book in the Wake of Rain.”  JAB (The Journal of Artists’ Books) 5 (Spring 1996):  26-27.


Selected Bibliography

Bradley, Fiona. "Paul Delvaux. Brussels." The Burlington Magazine 139.1132 (1997): 492-493.

Bright, Betty.  No Longer Innocent:  Book Art in America, 1960-1980.  New York:  Granary Books, 2005.

Brouws, Jeff. Readymades: American Roadside Artifacts. San Francisco:  Chronicle Books, 2003.

Brouws, Jeff, Wendy Burton, and Hermann Zschiegner, eds.  Various Small Books:  Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha.  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2013.

Burris, Jennifer. "The “Urban Photogénie” of Architainment." The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69.1 (2011): 93-103.

Celant, Germano.  Book as Artwork 1960/1972.  2nd ed.  New York:  6 Decades Books, 2010.

Costello, Diarmuid, and Margaret Iversen, eds. Photography after Conceptual Art. Malden, MA:  Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Costello, Diarmuid. "Automat, Automatic, Automatism: Rosalind Krauss and Stanley Cavell on Photography and the Photographically Dependent Arts." Critical Inquiry 38.4 (2012): 819-854.

Crimp, Douglas.  “The Museum’s Old/The Library’s New Subject.”  The Contest of Meaning:  Critical Histories of Photography.  Ed. Richard Bolton.  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 1989.  3-13.

Di Bello, Patrizia, Colette Wilson, and Shamoon Zamir,eds. The Photobook: from Talbot to Ruscha and Beyond. London:  IB Tauris & Co Ltd, 2012.

Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter. Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s. New York:  Henry Holt and Co, 2011.

Drucker, Johanna.  The Century of Artists' Books.  New York, Granary Books, 1995.

Edwards, Steve.  "Photography Out of Conceptual Art."  Themes in Contemporary Art.  Ed. Gill Perry and Paul Wood.  New Haven:  Yale UP, 2004.  137-80.

Emerson, Melanie. "Subversion and Democratization: Some Early and Important Contemporary Artists' Publications in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' Collection." Art Documentation 29 (2010): 27-34.

Esperdy, Gabrielle. "Mainstream and Marginal: Situating the American Roadside Photographs of John Margolies." Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum. 19.2 (2012):  53-76.

Evans, Walker.  Walker Evans:  the Lost Work.  Santa Fe, NM:  Arena Editions, 2000.

Green, Jane, and Leah Levy, eds. Jay DeFeo and the Rose. Berkeley:  U of California P, 2003.

Hatch, Kevin. "'Something Else': Ed Ruscha's Photographic Books." October 111 (2005): 107-126.

Heckert, Virginia. Some Aesthetic Decisions: The Photographs of Judy Fiskin. Los Angeles:  J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.

Hickey, Dave. "Edward Ruscha: Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1962." Artforum 35 (1997): 60-61.

Iversen, Margaret. "Auto‚ÄźMaticity: Ruscha and Performative Photography." Art History 32.5 (2009): 836-851.

James, David E. "Artists as Filmmakers in Los Angeles*." October 112 (2005): 111-127.

Joseph, Michael. "Some Sixties Influences on Suellen Glashausser’s Artists’ Books." Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries 64 (2010):  67-95.

Kelsey, Robin. "Playing Hooky/Simulating Work: the Random Generation of John Baldessari." Critical Inquiry 38.4 (2012): 746-775.

Kotz, Liz. "Language Between Performance and Photography." October 111 (2005): 3-21.

Krauss, Rosalind E. "'Specific' objects." RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 46 (2004): 221-224.

Lippard, Lucy R.  “The Artists’ Book Goes Public.”  Art in America January/February 1977:  40-41.

Lyons, Joan, ed.  Artists' Books:  a Critical Anthology.  Rochester, NY:  Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1985.

Mansoor, Jaleh.  "Ed Ruscha's 'One-Way Street'."  October 111 (2005):  127-142.

McNamara, Kevin R.  Urban Verbs:  Arts and Discourses of  American Cities.  Stanford:  Stanford U P, 1996.

Moeglin-Delcroix, Anne, Liliana Dematteis, Giorgio Maffei, and Annalisa Rimmaudo, eds.  Looking, Telling, Thinking, Collecting:  Four Directions of the Artist's Book from the Sixties to the Present.  Mantua:  Casa del Mantegna, 2004.

Nagler, Richard. Word on the Street. Berkeley:  Heyday, 2010.

Pasquariello, Lisa. "Ed Ruscha and the Language That He Used." October 111 (2005): 81-106.

Phillpot, Clive. "Twentysix Gasoline Stations that Shook the World: the Rise and Fall of Cheap Booklets as Art." Art Libraries Journal 18.1 (1993): 4-13.

Phillpot, Clive.  Booktrek:  Selected Essays on Artists' Books (1972-2010).  Zurich:  JPR/Ringier, 2013.

Platzker, David, and Elizabeth Wyckoff. Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process. New York:  Hudson Hills Press, 2000.

Rosenthal, Mark Lawrence. Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years. New York:  Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012.

Ruscha, Edward. Ed Ruscha: New Paintings and a Retrospective of Works on Paper. London:  Anthony D'Offay, 1998.

Ruscha, Ed. Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages. Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2002.

Schwartz, Alexandra. "'Second City': Ed Ruscha and the Reception of Los Angeles Pop." October 111 (2005): 23-43.

Shipe, Timothy. "The Monographic Cataloger and the Artist's Book: the Ideal Reader." Art Documentation 10.1 (1991): 23-25.

Smith, Trudi Lynn. "Photography After Conceptual Art." Visual Studies 26.3 (2011): 270-271.

Stich, Sidra. Made in U.S.A: an Americanization in Modern Art, the'50s &'60s. Berkeley:  U of California, 1987.

Vinegar, Aron. I am a Monument: on Learning from Las Vegas. Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2008.

Vinegar, Aron. "Ed Ruscha, Heidegger, and Deadpan Photography." Art History 32.5 (2009): 852-873.

Vinegar, Aron, and Michael J. Golec, eds.  Relearning from Las Vegas. Minneapolis:  U of Minnesota P, 2009.

Wall, Jeff. "'Marks of Indifference': Aspects of Photography in, or as, Conceptual Art." Reconsidering the Object of Art:  1965-1975.  Ann Goldstein and Anne Rorimer.  Los Angeles:  Museum of Contemporary Art, 1995.  246-267.

Whiting, Cécile. Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the 1960s. Berkeley:  U of California P, 2006.