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Warren H. Anderson (1925 – 2005)
A Retrospective

Exhibition: Warren Anderson: Vanishing Roadside America
Dates: September 1 – October 11th
Opening Reception: Friday, September 15th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Temple Gallery, 330 South Scott Avenue, in the Temple of Music and Art.
The Temple Gallery is managed by Etherton Gallery
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10-6 p.m. and prior to performances
Contact: info@ethertongallery.com, 624-7370

Warren H. Anderson’s retrospective exhibition of assemblages, photo collages and richly detailed drawings chronicles the vanishing American roadside as seen in the remains of tourist-related signage and “motor courts.” An homage to the visionary artist and Professor emeritus, Dr. Warren H. Anderson, who created the Art Education Department at the University of Arizona, Vanishing Roadside America documents the fading roadside grandeur that Anderson witnessed on his trips across the country prior to his in death August, 2005.

For over three decades, Anderson documented the American roadside in images that recall, so explicitly, the quality of vintage linen postcards, one is often fooled. Replete with vintage cars, gas pumps, signs, motel and diner neon, Anderson’s graphically rendered subject matter documents a vanished regionalism and individualism in advertising that occurred along the pre-interstate highways of America from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. In the decade prior to his death neon signs in the drawings were gleaned from, as he put it, “the old roads of my mind…imaginary highways since the originals have vanished.” This series that he called Retro Roadside America, are depictions of roadside treasures that chronicle, “what could have been.”

Anderson’s initial series of drawings, done while he was Professor of Art at the U. of A. from 1956 to 1986, were published in Vanishing Roadside America in 1981. Ranging from Realism to Surrealism stylistically, his documentation of cast off objects from ghost towns to larger architectural details along once thriving Main Streets, recall that old road of the past that Kerouac spoke of as, “unreeling dizzily as if the cup of life had been overturned and everything gone mad.”      With his unerring wit and prophetic insight Anderson conferred the neologism, Cartifacts on, as he states, “all those artifacts in our built environment, ranging in scale from tiny to tremendous, that exist because of cars.” Rendered in Prismacolor, Anderson’s imagery is replete with an aesthetic that not only reflects the emerging era of mobility and leisure of the early 20th century, but that of the progressive narrative that animated black and white films and much of the popular culture of post-World War II era.

Additional art forms that Anderson embraced over the years include: boxed assemblages (found objects and drawing combined), photography, and two and three dimensional montages that relate to motel interiors (Risqué) “other era” Bisbee, Arizona and the WW II era. “In all those varied forms,” Anderson states, “there is also a hint of a slightly offbeat Romanticism. In essence, my art commemorates the vernacular of the past from the heightened perspective of the present.”


Gallery hours are Monday - Friday 10am-6pm
and prior to Arizona Theatre Company performances

The Temple Gallery is managed by
Phone: 520-624-7370

at the Temple of Music and Art
330 South Scott Avenue
Tucson, Arizona

Etherton - Temple Gallery