The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin presents “Go West! Representations of the American Frontier,” an exhibition exploring the pioneering American West as both a physical terrain and an idea deeply rooted in the American psyche.
On view Jan. 14-Sept. 23, 2012, the exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures and works on paper made in, and about, the American West by Henry Farny, Charles Russell, Maynard Dixon and other artists from The Blanton’s celebrated C.R. Smith Collection of Art of the American West, in the largest installation of this collection in more than a decade.
Works of related content from the museum’s holdings by Jerry Bywaters, Frederic Remington and others, and a selection of late 19th- and early 20th-century American prints, supplement the installation, along with borrowed works from the university’s Harry Ransom Center and Briscoe Center for American History.
“‘Go West!’ presents works from The Blanton collection by some of the most illustrious artists of the period such as Albert Bierstadt and Remington,” said Blanton Director Simone Wicha. “Visitors will learn about their lives, their artistic styles, the historical moments and subjects they depict, and come away with an appreciation of the rich heritage of the great American West.”
“Go West!” is organized thematically and chronologically, with investigations of the country’s westward expansion in the 19th century, including: contested territories and the ensuing battles of the U.S. Army cavalry, representations of Native Americans, cowboys and ranchers, ideas of Manifest Destiny, the industrialization and urbanization of the land, and the ever-changing American landscape as witnessed and portrayed by artists living and working in the Western United States.
As a special counterpart to the 19th-century works on view, The Blanton has organized “The Contemporary West,” an exhibition that provides a 20th- and 21st-century response to and interpretation of the Western genre. Opening in late April 2012, the presentation includes works in multiple mediums by Jeremy Blake, Ed Ruscha, Lordy Rodriquez and Luis Jimenez.