Sheldon Museum of Art


Date of this Version



The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln 1975.


One-fifth of the meals Americans eat, they eat in automobiles. Drive-in funeral homes make death more comfortable if not less dignified. Crispy apples disappear in the wake of improved applesauce technology. High rise ranch houses smell of artificial mountain air. People move around so much and have so little lingering connection with the land that even the tombstone makers complain. Walt Disney fashions an east coast "world" populated with faceless pansies in a thousand acres of "computerized fun." Russell Baker observes that America is vanishing.

America is not vanishing. It is being homogenized

This exhibition moves against that trend. The paintings gathered here have one overriding characteristic; they find, in L. E. Sissman's words, "universality in specificity." They are not based on what we find everywhere, since things everywhere are increasingly the same. Rather they are prompted by what we see less and less of - real places, landscapes with resonance, places where the marks of man either do not show or where the imprint is restrained and loving. These are not paintings of the plastic, extruded landscape, though we have included a few to remind us of that omnipresent world. These paintings are responses to "places", those parts of the environment which give rise to our experiences and which provide locations for our daydreams.