Visual Analysis- Pop Art

Title: Standard station 1966

Artist: Ed Ruscha 

Medium/ Technique: screenprint

Date accessed: 6/03/14

Reference: Thursday 6th March 2014

This piece is a pop art movement due to it’s visual representation and communication, an american dream of optimism and naive that was going on at the time. In this way the piece looks like it’s a petrol station with it’s bright and bold colours. Around the time of this piece there was an anti vietnam war protest going on around the world. With the piece he wanted to blend the imagery of Hollywood with colourful renderings of commercial culture and the landscape of the southwest. This is one of his most iconic prints as he repeatedly used gasoline stations in his book Twentysix Gasoline Stations 1963, from a road trip through the American Southwestern countryside; trying to portray commercial culture. The perspective is flatterned as a composition to depict commercial advertising and leads from the far right to the top left leading the eye across to the foreground with one long leading line. He also used text within the piece to give interplay between art and text. The colour in the background is complementary blues and oranges, but also blends from orange to red as an analogous colour scheme making it look calm, warm and harmonious. He’s used the geometric shapes of the gasoline station through the windows, signs and gasoline tanks. The piece seems a smooth texture and feathery in the background.The image leaves the top right half spacious and the bottom left is filled with the gasoline station and the shapes it creates. It’s the way it presents the popular culture within the image that makes it the style of pop art. 


Visual Elements

Different art elements and what they mean:


actual or implied lines within the composition.

  • Horizontal lines- calming
  • Vertical lines- power & strength
  • Diagonal lines- tend to be visually dynamic- suggesting movement, ‘visual tention’ and/ or excitement.
  • Curved lines- suggest organic (living/breathing things)
  • Converging lines- lines that join together (geometric)


hues with their values, intensity and saturation.

  • Primary- red, blue, yellow
  • Secondary- green, orange, purple
  • Tertiary- in between primary and secondary colours
  •  Analogous- colours next to each other- correspond or are similar in some way; creates peace, restfulness or harmony. 

Shape- areas defined by their edges within the piece.

Form- the 3-D quality of an object or shape- it’s length, width and depth.

Tone- describes the darkness or lightness of a particular area in an image; shading from light to dark tone is often used to emphasize the form (an object’s 3D quality)

Space- the space taken up by objects or the space in-between objects (sometimes called negative space)

Texture surface qualities of the artwork.