On The Road
James Janknegt (born 1953) Urban Landscape #5, 1983 Oil on canvas. From the Collection of the Museum of Texas Tech University © James Janknegt
Drawn from the Museum's art collection, On the Road meanders through images that mirror our modern disposition to move from one place to another in cars and trucks and trains.
Whether by interstate highway, dirt road or iron rail tracks, we encounter landscapes and cityscapes, hurdle deep canyons, pass miles of forests, journey over creeks and rivers, ramble past acres of farmlands and pastures, battle urban interstate traffic, and lunch at cafés that we may never visit again.
As we drive seemingly endless miles of pavement, insistent headlights dazzle our vision, maps guide us to our destinations, franchise restaurants and gas stations tempt us to stop in town after town, billboards seek to separate us from our money, and the fuel gauge steadily and persistently falls, our cars and trucks ever hungry for more petrol.
Crossing the American landscape has spawned stories, movies and songs that applaud travel and celebrate the culture of being "on the road" and perhaps now, even an exhibition of art works that provides some visual souvenir of our infatuation with mobility.