HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The artistry and design of automobiles and motorcycles will be on display at The Evelyn Burrow Museum at Wallace State Community College as “LUSTER: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting” is on exhibit from Jan. 12 through Feb. 11, 2019.
The traveling museum exhibition will feature more than 50 paintings in a range of media and size by 15 realists and hyperrealists who specialize in automobiles and motorcycles as their primary subject of choice. Hyperrealism emerged in the 1990s as a new generation of artists began producing an impressive, collective body of work that extended photorealist automotive painting.
A preliminary list of exhibiting artists includes: A.D. Cook (Las Vegas, NV), Randy Ford (Easthampton, NJ), Allan Gorman (West Orange, NJ), Marc Jones (Loveland, CO), Cheryl Kelley, (Fortuna, CA), Richard Lewis (Los Angeles, CA), Lory Lockwood (New Orleans, LA), Sherly Luxenburg, (Ottawa, ON, Canada), Robert Petillo (Hardyston, NJ), Kris Preslan (Lake Oswego, OR), Joseph Santos (Buena Park, CA), Ken Scaglia (Weston, CT), Guenevere Schwien (Portland, OR), Brian Tull (Antioch, TN), and Harold Zabady (Camp Hill, PA).
LUSTER encompasses a broad range of cars and motorcycles from vintage vehicles to classics of the 1940s and after. When U.S. car sales stagnated from market saturation in the 1940s, General Motors President and CEO, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., suggested that design changes occur annually to drive new sales. The upshot for automotive design was that old, open-top runabouts and touring cars were phased out and design elements such as running boards and headlights were gradually integrated into the car body. With cheap gas, postwar boom years, and the advent of the Interstate Highway System in 1956 during the Eisenhower administration, American automotive design – and sales – flourished. In the 1950s, the industry reached new heights by offering consumers increased horse power for speed, and more artfully, integrated design which was dramatized in the 1960s with features such as tail fins. LUSTER features paintings of automobiles from those boom years, but also from years before and since, as well as road and track racing vehicles, off-road vehicles, and much more, not the least of which, are motorcycles.
Like the shiny automobiles and motorcycles portrayed by the exhibition’s artists, the exhibition’s paintings can be characterized by the luster that permeates their imagery. Chrome ornamentation and trim together with enameled bodywork, glass, rubber, and interior fabrication to meet the needs of purpose-built vehicles of all sorts: these are the surfaces which recent realists and hyperrealists have exploited to generate true, virtuosic masterpieces.
The exhibition is curated by David J. Wagner, who earned his Ph.D. in American Studies and serve as a museum director for 20 years. It made its premiere at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Fla., before traveling to the Dance G. Hansen Memorial Museum in Logan, Kan., and the Maria V. Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount, N.C. After it leaves the Burrow Museum, the exhibit will travel to Saginaw, Mich., Pueblo, Colo., Stockton, Calif., Augusta, Ga., Springfield, Mass., and Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information about the exhibition, visit www.davidjwagnerllc.com/Luster_Exhibition.html.
The Evelyn Burrow Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum will be closed for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday from Dec. 21-Jan. 1.