Edie Nadelhaft, Big Country: Paintings of the Road Less Traveled
January 5 - 29, 2017
Big Country: Paintings of The Road Less Traveled is a show of new works by Edie Nadelhaft based on imagery glimpsed in her rear view mirrors as she navigates North America by motorcycle. Created to scale and situated within actual motorcycle mirror housings, these paintings are literal scenes from a road trip -- historically, the quintessential American rite of passage. The exhibition title references the late artist Edward Avedisian's description of America: "It's a big country, and the only thing keeping it together is television." Whether or not this was uttered in jest, Ms. Nadelhaft has seen the sentiment borne out in earnest on journeys that lead her away from her typical social and cultural experiences and out of her comfort zone. In an effort to avoid "the slab", as the Interstate is known in motorcycle-speak, Ms. Nadelhaft seeks out back roads and scenic byways, visiting places along the way that have yet to be subsumed by big box stores and global chain restaurants. The reward is a front row seat on a very different America, one rife with odd and often charming, if somewhat shabby idiosyncrasies, many of which appear in the work. Unlike Ms. Nadelhaft's previous work, these paintings include a clear, if subtle narrative. Each piece includes some residue of a human presence (a sign, a road, a building). The slick, hard-edged beauty of these man-made elements strikes a sharp contrast to the lush, raw landscape in which they appear.