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Art & Art History

Model Car Round-Up

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Monday, February 22, 1993–Saturday, March 20, 1993

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Artists: Sarah Bader, Andrew Blauvelt, Anne Bush, William Canada, James Cathcart, Charles Cohan, Jno Cook, Peter Davidson, Frantuzzi, Edward Fella, Jesse Goode, Ken Gray, Robert Huff, David Lefkowitz, Tom McDonald, Mizicko, Murphy, Lisa Norton, Daniel Olson, Prater, Michael Slattery, Stanforth, and Lutz Wahler

The model car can refer to many things. Within the context of the exhibition Model Car Round-Up, curated by Michael Golec, Scott Zukowski, and Michael Eppelheimer, the model car is not only a common point of origin but also, and more importantly, a somewhat neutral subject matter. While larger issues such as those pertaining to gender or the environment are evoked, the model car’s insignificance and escapist connotations in relation to art and the world at large makes it an attractive subject.

After nearly a decade of issue-oriented art, or art that illustrates the ideas of current theoretical prophets, a non-redeeming or marginal subject matter proved refreshing. With the onset of a new political administration, it was evident that an urge for social and political change had reached the mainstream. Perhaps this shift signaled a break from art that evenly seeks acceptance and credibility through political correctness, mastery of theory and materials, shock value, and ease of consumption.

The model car can also be seen as a metaphor for the simple act of making. What compels someone to make a scale model of his or her own car with Shrinky·Dinks? Why build a remote control vehicle that drills holes, or why bury a van in cement only to peel it out? Like products of any hobby activity, many of the works included in the exhibition convey little outward concern and therefore become conduits for self-gratification. Also evident in some pieces is the lack of polish or professionalism. This deliberate naïveté might indicate a distaste for acceptance or at least an affection for the untrained or unprofessional.

It is the sentiment of escape mentioned in the opening passage that interested the curators. Not a reactionary, extreme disregard for responsibility, but a sincere (probably too romantic) search for and exploration of some other criteria, subject matter, or vision. There is no guarantee that the artists or their works accomplished this; rather, it was the spirit of these individuals and the direction they faced that was inspiring.


Model Car Round-Up is supported by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design’s College of Architecture, Art, and Urban Planning.


He sat looking at the model car in front of him. He listlessly pushed it back and forth. They had been seeing each other for several years. He had spent many years pursuing this job. He sat looking at her. He knew that he really didn’t want anyone else.

After working on the model for several days it was now done and he had lost all feeling for it. He wondered why he had thought this job would make him happy. She was crying.

He stood up and walked to the office next to his. He opened the door and said “I quit.” He sat looking at the landscape behind her, he stood up, waited a moment, and said “goodbye.” He picked the model up, opened his window and threw it out.

He closed the window and went to bed.


Sarah Bader

Toys for Boys, 1993
Plexiglass, plaster, and plywood, two pieces, each 20 x 18 1/2 x 4 in.

Andrew Blauvelt and Anne Bush

Untitled, 1993
Mixed-media installation

William Canada

Follow Up, 1993
Foam rubber and plastic, 22 x 72 x 14 in.

James Cathcart

Untitled, 1992
Blue prints, 4 x 6 in.

Charles Cohan

Untitled, 1993
Ten slot cars and track, used motor oil, plywood and plastic, 90 x 90 in.

JNO Cook

Camouflaged Radio Controlled Mobile 16mm Camera and Electronic Drill (Getting Even), 1993
Mixed media, 9 x 12 x 6 1/2 in.

Peter Davidson

Eccenihilo Taxi, 1992
Paper and glue, 2 1/2 x 1 1/8 x 4 in.


VCX-354, 1993
Black-and-white photograph, 6 x 15 in.

Edward Fella

Formerly Owned Toying Around as Formerly Owned Model Car, 1992
Prismacolor pencil on paper, 11 x 17 in.

Jesse Goode

Models or Creampuff, 1992
Newsprint and paper, 24 x 20 in.

Proposal: Bus Stop, 1992
Photograph, 16 x 20 in.

Ken Gray

#15, 1992
Gelatin silver print, 16 x 16 in.

#18, 1992
Gelatin silver print, 16 x 16 in.

#32, 1992
Gelatin silver print, 16 x 16 in.

Robert Huff

72 Corvette, 1993
Photo-sensitized metal, 37 x 48 in.

David Lefkowitz

Representative Early Work, c. 1974
Magic marker on paper, thirteen drawings, each 9 x 12 in.

Tom McDonald

Journey Object, 1992
Mixed-media assemblage, 16 x 8 x 1 in.

Lisa Norton

Ford F250 XLT Lariat, the “King” of the Heavy-Duty Pick-Ups, 1993
Mixed media, 9 1/4 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.

Daniel Olsen

Model Car, 1993
Black-and-white photographs, 15 x 67 in.

Mike Slattery

209373.3, 1993
Shrinky-Dink plastic, 4 x 6 x 15 in.

Lutz Wahler

The Model Car Round-Up 1-2-3,
Mixed media, (2): 24 x 36 in.; (1): 24 x 33 3/4 in.


Michael Eppelheimer is a graphic design professional. He has worked as a freelance graphic designer for Ligature, V.S.A. Partners, and Mark Oldach, as well as for Hartford Design. He has recently begun work as the senior graphic designer for Grady, Campbell, Inc. Eppelheimer attended Triton Junior College and completed the Yale Summer Program in Graphic Design in Brissago, Switzerland. He received a BFA in graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991.

Michael Golec Bio PicMichael Golec is highly interested in the history of design and graphic design, as well as American studies. Golec received a BFA with honors in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991.

Scott Zukowski HeadshotScott Zukowski is a graphic designer and educator living in Los Angeles. His main practice is print design for art institutions, but he also done a variety of self-initiated projects. The latter focus on a range of design- and culture-related subjects and are executed in an array media, including screenprints, photographs, typography, and collage. Zukowski’s photographs were included in the book Looking at Los Angeles, Metropolis / D.A.P. His work has been published in Eye, Émigré, I.D. Magazine, L.A. Now and Cranbrook Design: The New Discourse. He received an MFA in graphic design from Cranbrook Academy of Art.


Postcard: Model Car Round-Up