Tuesday, April 14, 2009

images of the american west @ the MoMA

"Best Western" by Vince Aletti (via The New Yorker April 13, 2009)

If the idea for MOMA’s “Into the Sunset: Photography’s Image of the American West” isn’t particularly original, its execution is. The show opens with Richard Prince’s Marlboro cowboy leaping into the circle of his lariat before a vista of flat, golden plains. Look right and you’re staring into the weathered face of an unemployed blackjack dealer, in a portrait by Richard Avedon. Look left and a row of classic landscape views by Laura Gilpin, Edward Weston, Minor White, and Timothy O’Sullivan leads to Carleton Watkins’s panoramic triptych of Yosemite, in the mid-nineteenth century. As the curator, Eva Respini, points out, the introduction and popular use of photography paralleled the exploration and exploitation of the West. Drawn largely from the museum’s collection, the show tracks this symbiotic relationship with spirit and wit. Respini is not afraid to mix things up, juxtaposing Ansel Adams and Stephen Shore, David Hockney and Dorothea Lange, and Cindy Sherman’s pigtailed latter-day frontierswoman with the cast of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. ♦

"Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West" is showing at the MoMA through June 8th in conjuction with The Old West: Myth, Character, and Reinvention and The West: Myth, Character, and Reinvention by Andy Warhol.

1 comment:

the turntable said...

my american landscape photography class took a field trip to this exhibit

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