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Common Tread: Traversing the American Landscape

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Robert Townsend
COLOR TV, 2010
32 x 43.5

Nearly a full century since the advent of the automobile as a means of transportation available to the general population, cars continue to serve as a declaration of independence. A certain feeling of excitement and optimism is attached to the notion of travel and, thereby, the idea of the "Great American Road Trip." In response to an ever-increasing homogenization of America, Common Tread: Traversing the American Landscape creates a dialogue about our land and history—evoking fond memories while simultaneously highlighting the various roadside attractions, monuments and curiosities that define our culture. By means of photography,sculpture, installation, new media, drawing and painting, it is our intent that this investigative spirit—long rooted in American culture since the days of territorial expansion—will lead to an awareness of the vitality and importance of traveling by car.

Common Tread features the work of sixteen contemporary artists who employ themes of location and memory to produce an experiential evaluation of American “road” travel.


Jo Babcock
Melissa Chandon
Jason Chakravarty
John Divola
Susan Grossman
James Gucwa
S.A. Hawkins
Olga Koumoundouros
Jason Kowalski
James Lorigan
Kevin Stewart-Magee
Robert Olsen
Rob Reynolds
Bill Sosin
Dustin Shuler
Devorah Sperber
Robert Townsend
Andy Warhol