View the American West through Andy Warhol’s eyes. Artwork and objects reveal the famous Pop artist’s surprising affinity for western motifs.
Warhol’s West explores Pop artist Andy Warhol’s fascination with the American West. The exhibition presents a wide range of Western imagery and more by Warhol, including his last major suite Cowboys and Indians (1986). Famous faces in the series include Geronimo, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Theodore Roosevelt. These works of art reveal Warhol’s process and some of the most understudied aspects of the artist’s career.
Warhol’s West introduces the range of western imagery Warhol produced. Selected works examine how Warhol’s western work merges the artist’s portrayal of celebrities with his interest in cowboys, American Indians, and western motifs. His work in the western genre is immediately recognizable, impressive, daring, inspirational, and sometimes confrontational. This body of work furthers our understanding of how the American West infiltrates the public’s imagination through contemporary art and popular culture.
Cowboys and Indians juxtaposes images of pop culture’s mythic West with Warhol’s interpretations of 19th century history, all in his signature style. Pop art was hailed during its heyday as purely American. Warhol himself regularly told interviewers he was as American as they come. And there are few things as uniquely American as the people and cultures of the West. Determining Warhol’s intent or social commentary is difficult, if not impossible, as he insisted that the surface was all there was. But his art does seem to go deeper, with nuances and complexities to discover. What is clear is, Warhol’s ability to find subjects that hold meaning still today, a reminder that the American West and its myths have influenced and inspired people through a turbulent past into a dynamic present and shared future.
Organized by The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art
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