June 4 – August 15, 2003
During the summer months, George Adams Gallery will present Road Show a group invitational exhibition featuring work by 24 artists. Highlighting the American phenomenon of the road trip, Road Show includes paintings by Chester Arnold, Jim Barsness, Jose Bedia, Enrique Chagoya, Andrew Lenaghan, James McGarrell, and Elizabeth Saveri: drawings by George Boorujy, Dimitri Kozyrev, Lordy Rodriguez, David Sandlin, Peter Saul, and HC Westermann: ceramic sculptures by Margaret Dodd and Richard Shaw: videos by Guy Hundere and Paul Ramirez Jonas: and photographs by Thomas Tulis, Joel Sternfeld, Ramon Muxter, Mary Ellen Mark, Arthur Leipzig, Robert Frank, and Rudy Burckhardt.
The idea of the road trip has reached a near mythological status in American culture. From Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road' to the film "Easy Rider," the road trip has often been portrayed as an adventure-filled journey unfolding on the endless highways that crisscross America. Road Show includes artwork that appropriates or subverts the road trip myth. A Longer Day, a 16-minute video by Paul Ramirez Jonas, for example, follows a westward highway towards the setting sun in an attempt to add one more minute to the day. Similarly, in his video Impasse, Guy Hundere uses animated still photographs to simulate a passing landscape in which everything but the farmhouse in the distance moves swiftly by.
Other works record specific people and places, such as Robert Frank's documentary-style photographs from his 1955-56 travel series The Americans and Andrew Lenaghan's detailed landscape Off Route 52, Irvine, Kentucky painted on site during the artist's travels across the South.
Photography has played a central role in constructing a visual identity associated with being "on the road." The exhibition includes Mary Ellen Mark's social-documentary photograph, The Damm Family, which depicts a homeless family in their car, and an untitled photograph by Ramon Muxter which captures the roadside aftermath of a fallen mattress from the top of a van—evidence of the travails of highway travel. Arthur Leipzig's black and white photograph Chalk Games, Brooklyn, NY shows children at play in the street amongst cars and other obstacles in 1950 New York.
Dimitri Kosyrev and Elizabeth Saveri depict views from inside a moving car to draw attention to passing sites alongside the highway. Kosyrev's minutely detailed pencil drawings show landscapes as they might be seen simultaneously in the left and right rearview mirrors. I-5, Saveri's installation of 30 small-scale paintings, on the other hand, combines both seen and imagined imagery. The series is a record of sites along Interstate highway 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco interspersed with images of the artist's meandering thoughts during the drive.
In other work, George Boorugy's ink drawings, for example, offer slightly surreal renditions of roadside attractions--one image depicts two life size plastic deer atop an Amoco gas station. David Sandlin uses humor and a comic-book aesthetic to create a story line about two towns "Pure Town" and "Sinland," and Lordy Rodriguez reconfigures road maps, cross-pollinating states and cities where Michigan is redrawn as a landlocked state bordered by West Virginia, Wyoming, New York, and South Carolina.
Road Show continues through August 15th. The gallery's summer hours are M-F, 10am – 5pm. Images can be viewed on the gallery's website at www.artnet.com/gadams.html and on the Art Dealers Association website, www.artdealers.org.