The Open Road

Evening Train, Trans Canada Highway, by Robin Weiss
I have always been interested in paintings of expressways, which is helpful when I’m driving as much as I have been since July. This week’s road follies were not intentional, being precipitated by a set of personal crises on either end of New York State. I saw a lot of Interstate 90 this week, and repeatedly.

Study for Freeway,1978, by Wayne Thiebaud
To the artist, painting is more about the play of color, shape and texture than it is about subject, but I’ve noticed that viewers don’t generally feel that way. They select paintings based on a personal, emotional, call and response.

Lost Highway, by Peter Harris
The open road is neutral, although to many of us, it’s the thing that stands in the way of getting where we’re going. In their own gangly way, our expressways are beautiful.  Like me, the Interstate Highway System itself is a prime example of mid-century modern. Authorized in 1956, the first sections were completed that same year (although in some states, including New York, previous highways were incorporated into the system).

Untitled by Rodgers Naylor
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