GAS STOP. David Freund's photographic portraits of an American Cultural Nexus

GAS STOP.  David Freund's photographic portraits of an American Cultural Nexus

Friday, Oct 20, 2017 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints
29 Garrison's Landing, Garrison, NY 10524

On October 20, at 6 p.m., Antipodean Books ( will host a book signing and artist talk for Gas Stop, a four volume set of photographs by David Freund ( of the architecture, culture and landscape of the American gas station.  Gas Stop was published in 2016 by Steidl Verlag (

 Freund describes his project:

 In the twentieth century, any American driver or passenger would stop at gas stations at least weekly throughout their lives, not just for gas.  Gas stations were also oases offering food and drink, car repairs, directions, maps and, importantly, bathrooms.  Yet, except as roadside novelties, gas stations have been little photographed. 

 From 1978 to 1981, I parsed the culture, architecture and landscape of gas stations in more than forty states.  Customers and workers are seen in the postures and actions peculiar to gassing up, or to just hanging out.  Architecture and signage, both corporate and vernacular, beckon passing drivers.  Regional landscapes hold and surround gas stations, each with its own landscape of designed plantings or scrappy volunteers.

 Stations were outposts for American networks other than petroleum, seen in telephone booths, mailboxes and power lines. These and all that surrounds them spark recognition and recollection, accruing as elements of a nonlinear American narrative.

 Although my first concern is that the photographs engage and surprise, there is no sidestepping nostalgia.  I hope, however, to enlist it only to imbue the many things and spaces seen with a compelling sense of belonging.  Of more than 200,000 gas stations in the United States at the time of this project, today, they and the roles they played are mostly gone, existing largely in memory and in this work.