Cheese Mold Standard with Olive, 1969


Printer's Proof Edition of 150

19.5 x 37 inches


The Standard Oil gasoline station is arguably Ruscha’s most iconic image. In the early twentieth century Standard Oil was the largest oil copmpany in the world. Even after the federal government broke up J.D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil into 7 smaller companies, “Baby Standard” gasoline stations continued to line Route 66. Ed Ruscha frequently drove along Route 66 from Los Angeles to his family’s town home in Oklahoma. On his drives back home Ruscha would have encountered this diagonal view of the Standard stations for years until 1984 when the brand became Chevron. Ruscha has painted and printed the Standard gas station motif many times. The composition is consistent throughout but a variety of colours are used in each iteration. The first Standard Station screenprint was made in 1966 with a blue and fiery red background. It was followed in 1969 by Mocha Standard, Cheese Mold Standard with Olive and Double Standard. All variations on the 1966 forerunner and printed in the same size and from the same screens. In this screenprint, Ruscha e xplores the iconography of the classic American Standard. The olive refrenced in the title give this version a blue and green hue. Ed Ruscha exploration of language and American West Coast culture centered on Hollywood has made him one of the pre-eminent artists of his generatioin and Ruscha’s Standard Station a masterpiece of American painting.