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: Denver/Montreal Museum Exhibit on Western Paintings and Film  ( 353 )
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« : April 23, 2017, 12:46:37 AM »

there is a Western painting and movie exhibit coming to the Denver Art Museum starting May 27, 2017. It will move on to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on October 14, 2017. In Denver, the exhibit will be called "The Western: An Epic in Art and Film." In Montreal, the exhibit will be called "Once Upon a Time ... The Western" - definitely a Leone-esque name  :) And Leone will be featured in the exhibit as well.

Here is an article on it from The Wall Street Journal, by Susan Delson

Remington Meets Hollywood: An Exhibition on the Western
By Susan Delson

Frederic Remington, meet Quentin Tarantino.

Next month, an exhibition in Denver will trace a line in the dust from the mounted desperadoes galloping full-tilt toward the viewer in a painting by the master of Western art to the bounty hunters of Mr. Tarantino’s brutal, over-the-edge “Django Unchained” (2012).

At its heart, “The Western: An Epic in Art and Film,” opening May 27 at the Denver Art Museum, explores the Western as a movie genre. To that end, the galleries will be studded with film stills, movie clips and immersive, big-screen projections. But the exhibition also places Western movies in a broader lineage of fine art, landscape photography, popular fiction, Wild West shows and more. All told, some 160 artworks, objects and films are included.

While the exhibition pays homage to the giants of the genre, it also explores the Western’s capacity for reflecting our collective aspirations and anxieties through the decades. Once a tale in which good reliably triumphed over evil, in the closing decades of the 20th century the Western became, in both movies and fine art, something far more complex—and remains so today. New themes ranged from changing gender roles to radical transformations of the Western’s basic building blocks—cowboys and Indians, wagon trains, even the landscape itself.

“This is a different type of exhibition,” said Thomas Brent Smith, director of the museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art and co-curator of the show. “If anyone thinks it’s about the hero in the white hat, that’s going to be dispelled really quickly.”

The show first pairs the desperadoes of Remington’s 7-foot-long painting “A Dash for the Timber” (1889) with similar scenes on film, clipped from movies like the silent “Bucking Broadway” (1917) and Sam Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch” (1969), famed for its innovative editing as well as its mountainous body count.

Then Mr. Smith and his co-curator, Mary Dailey Desmarais of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (to which the show travels on Oct. 14 as “Once Upon a Time...The Western”), lay out the exhibition’s moviemaking themes. One theme, “the set,” introduces the Western landscape as a key element, its wide-open spaces serving as one of the genre’s most potent metaphors of both hope and menace. Artworks like Albert Bierstadt’s monumental 1867 painting “Emigrants Crossing the Plains” are shown with movie stills and clips that echo the artists’ use of strong diagonal lines receding into the distance.

In “the cast” and “the dramas,” Western archetypes—bandit, bronco buster, noble savage and more—appear and reappear in films, paintings, sculptures, dime novels and other works.

The exhibition turns to Western movie master John Ford (1894-1973), whose career began with silent films—including “Bucking Broadway” in the show’s opening clip reel. We learn that in films like “Stagecoach” (1939) and “The Searchers” (1956) Ford’s eye for elegant, near-painterly composition reflected his close study of Remington and his contemporaries, such as “the cowboy artist” Charles M. Russell and Charles Schreyvogel, a Hoboken, N.J., native whose action-packed scenes could double as stills from Ford’s movies.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, a small movie theater screens memorable moments from classic postwar Westerns like “High Noon” (1952), a dark, Red Scare-era fable of cowardice and duty. In the section on “spaghetti Western” director Sergio Leone, visitors encounter a world where it’s often hard to tell the bad guys from the good guys—if there are any. The climactic three-way duel from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” (1966), arguably Clint Eastwood’s finest hour as a Western antihero, will plunge viewers into the action by running simultaneously on three huge screens.

Spurred by the global youth counterculture, the urge to deconstruct the Western gathered momentum in the late 1960s. In a reverse of the classic Western plotline, cowboy-like characters—a pair of drug dealers in “Easy Rider” and a would-be gigolo in “Midnight Cowboy,” both from 1969—head east, not west, with disastrous results. More than three decades later, the gay cowboys of “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) find fulfillment with each other, but at great cost.

Artists, too, have taken to reinterpreting the Western, and the show reflects their disparate approaches. Through his glamorous alter ego, Miss Chief, Canadian Cree artist Kent Monkman, 51, throws a gender- and genre-bending wrench into the usual cowboys-and-Indians story line. His “Boudoir de Berdashe” (2007) is a tepee furnished with the usual buffalo-hide rug and Hudson Bay blanket—as well as a Victorian sofa, an ornate chandelier, Miss Chief’s high-heeled beaded moccasins and her birch-bark luggage a la Louis Vuitton.

In “West (Sunset in My Motel Room, Monument Valley, January 26, 2007, 5:36-6:06 PM),” also from 2007, Spencer Finch, 54, pays homage to the West and John Ford in an indirect but lyrical fashion. With a light meter, Mr. Finch measured the amount of light in Monument Valley, Ariz., where Ford shot his best-known films. The artist then created an equivalent reading by setting up a grid of nine video monitors turned toward the wall, all projecting a sequence of stills from Ford’s “The Searchers.”

Distilling the Western down to a single element—light—Mr. Finch’s “West” is a 21st-century take on an enduring genre, and one that Ford himself might have appreciated.

« : April 23, 2017, 12:48:56 AM drinkanddestroy »

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