Ed Ruscha: Ghost Station
Produced in collaboration with the Los Angeles–based Mixografia workshop, Ghost Station (2011) is an inkless print that revisits one of Ed Ruscha’s most iconic compositions. Drained of the saturated colors of his painting Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas (1963), this work interprets the gas station’s architecture in a unique graphic form. The proprietary printmaking method developed by Mixografia involves a cast three-dimensional copper printing plate, into which moist cotton paper pulp is inserted, run through a high-pressure press. The resulting debossed, colorless print defines precise perspectival lines and surface details in relief, a “ghost” of the source image.
The print’s subject derives from a snapshot in Ruscha’s first artist’s book, Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1963), which comprises photographs he took of service stations along the route between Los Angeles and his hometown of Oklahoma City. As the artist explained, “I don’t have any Seine River like Monet. I just have U.S. 66 between Oklahoma and Los Angeles.” With its geometric contours and plunging diagonal perspective, Ruscha’s Standard station—reprised in several paintings, drawings, and prints—is one of his signature motifs.