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September 29, 2007 - January 13, 2008
Images of the American West have captured the imaginations of countless artists, from the earliest visual records of European explorers to painting, sculpture, drawings, and photography by artists of the present day. Past artists were inspired by the dangers and conflicts, others wished to record a disappearing life style or perpetuate images of a heroic and romantic landscape, still others were used by commercial interests back east to promote the settling of new territories.
Contemporary artists, although still inspired by the beauty and drama of the American West, tend to destabilize cowboy and Native American, "wilderness' and "civilization" archetypes and reconstruct the romantic myths of the past, lending humor to scenes that we consider familiar from movies and television. (right: Maynard Dixon,Wild Horses of Nevada, 1927-32, courtesy of Karges Family Trust.)
This exhibition highlights 30 objects in the Figge's great collection of Western art, a collection which is not often on view. Included are late 19th and early 20th c. artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Oscar Bernighaus, Irving Couse, Frank Tenney Johnson, William Robinson Leigh, Walter Ufer, and Olaf Wieghorst who portrayed a West that was quickly disappearing or portrayed a West in nostalgic or romantic terms. Alongside these artists are contemporary artists such as Fritz Scholder and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Ann Coe and the late Luis Jiménez whose work often has a political edge. The show also includes works from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and a private collection.
(above: Frank Tenney Johnson,Colorado Forest Ranger (Trail's End), 1929, 50.876)
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Copyright 2007 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.