Painting as Installation art. Artist focused on painting installations that already exist on location, instead of building new ones from scratch. This painting practice requires trespassing and hiring a bodyguard. The "Workplace Series" provides commentary on disappearing American industries due to outsourcing.

"Workplace Paintings"
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Transition", 2009
72 X 48 inches, oil on canvas
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Seam", 2009
84 x 71 inches, oil on canvas

The subject of this painting was about trying to hide a seam running vertically down the center of the picture plane. ("Seam" was painted on a large, linen drop cloth (with a seam). The town in which the artist was living was completely out of stock of artist-grade canvas. Therefore, the entire composition of this painting was formulated to hide the vertical seam.

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Seam Study", 2009
48 x 24 inches, oil on silk
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Armour Night", 48 x 36 inches, 2009

This painting was painted at dusk before it got too dangerous to hang out. (Edgar, the artist's bodyguard, was also uncomfortable painting on location late.)

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on felt
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"Painting on Dust", 72 x 84 inches, 2010
oil on felt
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on felt
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"Painting on Dust" Detail of Edgar, (Tower's bodyguard)
oil on felt

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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"Mouse Trap", 48 x 72, 2010
oil on canvas
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"Mousetrap Study", 2010
oil on fabric

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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"Sleeping Dog, 72 x 82 inches, 2010
oil on canvas

The first version of this painting the artist lost when a cable snapped on her truck going over the Mississippi River in 2010. The painting flew off the bridge and was never seen again.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Detail of Buster from"Sleeping Dog"

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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"Put Out", 67 x 79 inches, 2010
oil on canvas

"Put Out", the opposite of "Output"
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Detail of black cat in "Put Out"

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Photo by Joe Epstein

Tower working on "Put Out" in the rain, February, '09, East Saint Louis, IL
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Maintenance Walk", 60 x 60 inches, 2010
oil on canvas

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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"Crumble", 17 x 24 inches, 2009
oil on canvas
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"Husked", 2009
68 X 72, oil on canvas

"Husked" refers to the corn cob husks depicted in this painting, lying on the factory floor, situating this scene in the Corn belt.

"Husked" also refers to the environment having been "husked", or "stripped bare" by scrappers as a consequence of economic deterioration.

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Racks
2006
Oil on canvas

Painted at 56 Sourth 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY, the artist's old studio from which she was evicted for the second time due to neighborhood gentrification.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" enamel on dropcloth
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Surge
2008
enamel on dropcloth
56"x 62"

I was living in the Midwest for several years and visiting New York without my oil paint. Curator Matt Gosser, knowing I am fond of painting Industrial sites in situ, gave me the tip to the New Jersey Site and mentioned it was about to be demolished the following week. I had previously scheduled a visit to the Whitney Biennial with art critic, Anthony Haden-Guest; having only a limited time in the tri-state area. I mentioned to Haden-Guest that I'd rather paint than see the biennial and the two of us decided to visit the Westinghouse site instead of the Whitney Biennial that year. Haden-Guest and myself rode the Path out to New Jersey and found the Westinghouse plant a short distance from the train tracks. We proceeded to climb through a second story window of the factory. (Art-critic Anthony Haden-Guest was around 70 at the time.) Once inside, I painted while he snooped around. We returned to Manhattan after several hours. I left the painting in the factory to dry, headed to the airport, and curator Matt Gosser, retrieved the painting for me, titled "Surge" and exhibited it in his "Westinghouse" show in 2008.

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Enamel on canvas
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Plum
2008
Enamel on canvas
48" x 36"

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents. Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Enamel on canvas
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Collapse
2008
Enamel on canvas
40" x 30"

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" enamel on canvas
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Meltdown
2008
enamel on canvas
48" x 36"

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents. Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).
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Site Painting Photo by Malcolm Gay

Tower painting "Big Wheel" (above) inside a "borrowed" studio- (trespassing) in East Saint Louis.

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"Factory", Installation, Haven Arts, NYC, 20008
1/7

Tower placed a faux-factory replica of an engine room inside an empty, gutted factory in the South Bronx complete with a video of factory inhabitants, Haven Arts, NYC, 20008
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"Frick Backlight", Factory, HavenArts, NYC, 2008
2/7

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Factory", Detail of Big Wheel, Haven Arts, NYC, 2008
3/7

Tower placed a faux-factory replica of an engine room inside an empty, gutted factory in the South Bronx complete with a video of factory inhabitants, Haven Arts, NYC, 20008
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"Big Wheel" in"Factory", Haven Arts, NYC, 2008
4/7

Tower placed a faux-factory replica of an engine room inside an empty, gutted factory in the South Bronx complete with a video of factory inhabitants, Haven Arts, NYC, 20008

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"Painting One", "Factory" Installation Detail
5/7
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"Painting Two", "Factory" Installation Detail
6/7

Tower placed a faux-factory replica of an engine room inside an empty, gutted factory in the South Bronx complete with a video of factory inhabitants, Haven Arts, NYC, 20008

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"Factory" Installation Detail Showing Video of Site Inhabitants
7/7

Tower placed a faux-factory replica of an engine room inside an empty, gutted factory in the South Bronx complete with a video of factory inhabitants, Haven Arts, NYC, 20008
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on fabric
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Factory
2008
oil on fabric
96"x72"

Painted in Brooklyn, IL

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Factory detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Jarvic
2006
Oil on canvas

Painted in Brooklyn, IL at Armour site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Jarvic Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Photo by Sarah Paulsen
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Artist painting Stripped
2007
Photo by Sarah Paulsen

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on upholstery material
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Stripped
2007
Oil on upholstery material
44 x 67

Painted in Brooklyn, Illinois at Armour site
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Cindy Tower Painting in Forman Factory, Brooklyn, New York

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Forman Factory (with light bulb package)
2005
Oil on canvas
64 x 72

Painted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Sitter
2007
Oil on canvas
66 x 69

Portrait of Edgar Carter painted at Great Lakes Carbon Factory, Saint Louis, MO

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Artist with body guard and dog

Photo by John Frey in Saint Louis, MO
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" enamel on canvas
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"Edgar", Tower's Bodyguard
2008
enamel on canvas
36"x48"

Edgar is depicted holding his favorite golf club.

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents. Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Detail of Edgar

Edgar Carter, born and raised in East Saint Louis, has been Cindy Tower's bodyguard since 2006. He has appeared several times in paintings by Tower and is also featured in her film, "Breaking, Entering and Painting".
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil and enamel on canvas
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Frick
2008
oil and enamel on canvas
72"x48"

Painted at Armour site

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents. Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Frick detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" enamel on fabric
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Colored Ghosts
2008
enamel on fabric
44"x 72"

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents. Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Colored Ghosts Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on upholstery material
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Spiral Ribbed
2007
Oil on upholstery material
45 x 77

Painted in Leadington, MO at Federal Mill #3

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Spiral Ribbed Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on Upholstery Material
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Gizzard
2007
Oil on Upholstery Material
43 x 70

Painted inside Federal Mill #3, Leadington, MO

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Gizzard Detail

"Gizzard" actually depicts a giant grinding machine that acts like a gizzard in a bird. It crushes rocks to extract the lead minerals.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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Big Wheel
2008
oil on canvas
41"x32"

Painted in Brooklyn, IL

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Big Wheel detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" enamel on canvas
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Scrappers' Rainbow End
2008
enamel on canvas
72" x 48"

The defunct factory environment becomes a goldmine for scrappers. Scrappers in an economic decline are the equivalent of canaries in a coal mine.

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents.

Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Scrappers' Rainbow End Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on upholstery material
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Floater
Oil on upholstery material

Painted in Leadington, MO at Federal Mill #3

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Floater Detail

Depiction of floatation tanks in a lead mine.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" 72 x 68 inches, oil on canvas
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"Passage", 2010
72 x 68 inches, oil on canvas

Painted in memory of Al Philips, designer of the Katherine Dunham Museum, East Saint Louis, IL, the month he died 7/11, at age 49.

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" 64 x 96 inches, oil on canvas
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"Brooklyn Armour", 2005
64 x 96 inches, oil on canvas
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Enamel on canvas
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Mine
2008
Enamel on canvas
36" x 46"

Exterior of a lead mine entrance. Painted at Federal Mill #3, MO

For a few years, Tower switched mediums (from working with artist-grade oil paint to left-over, industrial-grade paint salvaged from dumpsters). Paint was applied more loosely, devoid of thickening agents. Tower felt the melting of painting surfaces mirrored the economy's deterioration and said, "I feel as though I am painting the actual recession itself" (with the looser paint handling).

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Detail Mine
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on fabric
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Faccade
2008
oil on fabric
29" x 40"

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Detail Faccade
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil and enamel on fabric
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Double
2008
oil and enamel on fabric
72"x36"

Painted in Brooklyn, IL (adjacent to East Saint Louis)

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Double detail showing side view
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Christmas
2005
Oil on canvas
68 x 72

Painted aboard the S.S. Diamond State, Port of Houston, TX

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Christmas Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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Acid Yellow
2006
oil on canvas
48"x36"

Painted in Brooklyn, IL at Armour site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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American 800
2007
Oil on canvas
30 x 20

Behind Shu Feng Restaurant, Saint Louis, MO
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Artist painting S.S. Diamond State, Port of Houston, TX
2005

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on Canvas
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Ship Eyes
2005
Oil on Canvas
42 x 38

Painted aboard the S.S. Diamond State, Port of Houston, TX
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Artist painting aboard S.S. Diamond State
2005

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Suct
2005
Oil on canvas
35 x 41

Painted aboard the S.S. Diamond State, Port of Houston, TX
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on Canvas
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Black Mother
2006
Oil on Canvas
36" x 24"

Metaphorically, this is a portrait of the artist's Mother fighting cancer.

Painted in Brooklyn, Il at Armour site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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"Dixie Machine", Savannah, GA, 2010
oil on canvas
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on silk
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Tommy Knocker
2007
Oil on silk
68 x 43

Painted in Federal Mill #3, Leadington, MO

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Tommy Knocker Detail

"Tommy Knocker" refers to a benevolent spirit which miners believe knocks on things to warn of an eminent collapse.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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My Brothers and Myself
2007
Oil on canvas
60 x 84

Painted at Great Lakes Carbon Factory, Saint Louis, MO

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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My Brothers and Myself Detail
2007
oil on canvas

Metaphorically, the "towers" on either side of the flaming barrrel are "stand ins" for the artist's brothers. She depicts herself as the short rusty barrel shooting flames.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil  on canvas
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Building #128; Loading Dock
2005
Oil on canvas
68 x 72

Painted in Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York City

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Building 128, Loading Dock Detail

Building #128 was originally used to build ships in at the turn of the last century.
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Building 128, Second Floor
2005
Oil on canvas
64 x 68

Painted in Building #128, Brooklyn, Navy Yard, New York City

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Building 128, Second Floor Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Green Room
2005
Oil on canvas

The first version of this painting was stolen from the location a day before it was complete.

Painted in Building #128, Brooklyn navy yard, New York City

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Green Room Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on fabric
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Bridge
2007
oil on fabric
40"x48"

Painted alongside Mississippi

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Bridge detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on Canvas
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Grates
2007
Oil on Canvas
69 x 50

Painted in Brookloyn, Illinois at Armour site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Grates Detail
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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The Office
2007
Oil on canvas

Painted at Armour site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on upholstery material
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Capacity Reduction in Gold
2007
Oil on upholstery material
60 x 40

Painted at Armour site
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Armour Entrance
2006
Oil on canvas

Painted at Armour site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Cast
2005
Oil on canvas
58 x 56

Painted aboard the S.S. Diamond State, Port of Houston, TX
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Bunny
2005
Oil on canvas
30 x 24

Painted in Brooklyn, NY at Forman Factory Site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Leslie
2006
Oil on canvas
42 x 36

Painted aboard the S.S.Diamond State, Port of Houston, TX
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Oil on canvas
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Wired
2005
Oil on canvas
37 x 40

Painted in Georgetown, CT at Georgetown Wire Fabric factory site

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Feed Me Study", oil on fabric
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Gonzales Auction House", Gonzales, TX, 2005

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Lunch in Nixon",Nixon, TX
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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Last Stockyard
2007
oil on canvas
68" x 72"

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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Detail Last Stockyard
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Enamel on canvas
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Circuit Two
2008
Enamel on canvas

Painted for "Westinghouse Show"

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" Enamel on canvas
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Circuit One
2008
Enamel on canvas
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Cowboy Church II", 2005

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings" oil on canvas
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"Cowboy Church I', 2005
oil on canvas
Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"The Cedarsqueezers", Mauer Ranch, Bulverde, TX

Cindy Tower "Workplace Paintings"
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"Pape Store", San Antonio, TX