PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

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Steidl

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Hardcover, 4 vols, 10 x 8.5 in. / 636 pgs / 574 bw.

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Catalog: FALL 2016 p. 122   

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ISBN 9783958291737 TRADE
List Price: $125.00 CDN $162.50

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Made between 1978 and 1981, David Freund's images of gas stations in over 40 states composed a portrait of the American vernacular

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David Freund: Gas Stop


Featured image is reproduced from 'David Freund: Gas Stop.'

Made between 1978 and 1981, Freund's images of gas stations in over 40 states record a lost America

In postwar America, any driver or passenger would stop at gas stations at least weekly, and not just for gas. Gas stations were also oases offering food and drink, repairs, directions, maps and, importantly, bathrooms. Although appreciated as roadside novelties, their significance for American culture, landscape and history has been little documented.

From 1978 to 1981, David Freund analyzed the culture, architecture and landscape of gas stations in more than 40 states. “At the outset of Gas Stop,” he writes, “I was surprised at the range of themes presented at gas stations. Driving by, their commonplaceness might evince little inspiration for photos, but at an even halfway busy station, all I had to do was hang around to discover unexpected topical and visual variety.”

Freund’s photographs show customers and workers in postures and actions particular to filling up their cars, or just hanging out. Architecture and signage, both corporate and vernacular, beckon passing drivers. Of the more than 200,000 gas stations extant at the time of this project, most are now gone, remaining only in this work.

David Freund (born 1937) graduated from the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, and has taught at Pratt Institute and Ramapo College of New Jersey. He has had exhibitions at the Light Gallery, New York, and the George Eastman House, and he has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a CAPS grant. Freund’s work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.


Featured image is reproduced from 'David Freund: Gas Stop.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

The Guardian

...an everyman portrait of America.

New York Journal of Books

Karl Wolff

David Freund: Gas Stop represents a monumental achievement in photojournalism. A grand scope sharpened through a short time span creates a diverse group portrait of the United States . . . The photographs are candid and off-the-cuff, preserving moments otherwise forgotten in the flow of the quotidian.

David Freund: Gas Stop

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/17/2017

'David Freund: Gas Stop' - 4 Volume Ltd Ed from Steidl

'David Freund: Gas Stop' - 4 Volume Ltd Ed from Steidl

Over four volumes and more than 630 pages, David Freund's Gas Stop presents 574 black-and-white photographs of American gas stations, 1978-81. Though they were made only four decades ago, the photographs capture another time entirely. "In the 1940s my father ran a Sinclair station in Ottumwa, Iowa, the sort of station I could still come across when photographing for Gas Stop," Freund writes. "To this boy it was a friendly, manly place dense with car parts and the alluring smell of petroleum products... Besides a welcome, stations like my Dad's might offer directions, maps, car maintenance, tires, even newspapers and magazines. And bathrooms. Now its kind have been supplanted almost entirely by self-service stations with credit-card-activated pumps where one can purchase gas without encountering another human." Featured photograph is from Florida, 1981. continue to blog


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