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Common Objects

           SCAPE is pleased to announce “Common Objects”, an exhibition of new works by artists Christina Empedocles, Dave Lefner, and Robert Townsend. Originally conceived as an homage to the 1962 show, “New Paintings of Common Objects”, this show will feature images of all things common, banal, maybe even humorous… household products, food items, advertising and comic books.

           Now just past its 50th anniversary, the landmark show “New Paintings of Common Objects” was hosted at the Pasadena Art Museum, now the Norton Simon Museum, and was the first museum survey exhibition of Pop Art in America, featuring the likes of Ed Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The influence this show and these artists had upon the art world, as well as the world at large, is undeniable. Pop Art posed the question of “What is Art?” like never before. Everyday objects isolated on a gallery wall suddenly proved to have a power all their own. The intentional fun, tongue-in-cheek irreverence of subject matter, context, and even execution was the point.

           It is in this spirit that SCAPE is showcasing these three contemporary artists, who pay tribute to their art heroes in their own individual style with their own takes and twists on the subject of everyday objects.  But, unlike most of their heroes, Empedocles, Lefner and Townsend, above all, hold a sincere respect for the technical execution of their chosen mediums.

           Empedocles’ intricate, hyper-realistic wax pencil drawings of pages torn from magazines of 1962, show the slickness, style, and humor of advertisements and iconic images of everyday life of the “Joneses”…

           Lefner uses the graphic medium of linocuts to capture the hard edges of consumer products: logos, wrappers, etc., originally printed through mass-commercial processes and now brought home to the world of fine art through his labor-intensive, hand-carved, very limited-edition linoleum block prints.

           Townsend’s detailed, photo-realistic watercolors use an enlarged scale of everyday objects from the 1950s, a golden age to many, giving a historical reference to the beauty of design, as well as the attention to detail through the packaging of even the most simple household items.


Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend
9:18, 2013
Watercolor on paper
36 x 38.5