Erector Set of the 20th Century Series

A series of paintings created in 2001 by Madison, Wisconsin painter R.O. Coberly that focus on intricate, fantastical, aggregated architecture and vehicles.

The Erector Set of the 20th Century series derives from Coberly's memories of rich, complicated, miniature, toy cityscapes seen in old department store catalogs or in the pages of magazines devoted to model railroad enthusiasts.

The images in this series simultaneously suggest drifting over the actual, tangible layouts of contemporary cities and industrial sites as well as the giddy, childhood desire to collect every tiny element of toy city playsets.

These overstuffed glimpses at the active corners of a vivid, color-rich world capture a kind of gee-whiz, unadulterated love for an urban crazy-quilt woven from roads, traffic lights, utility towers and a playful assortment of architecture from throughout American history.