Exhibition Showcases How Artists Problem Mythic Conceptions of the American West
Now on tour! Many Wests: Artists Form an American Thought, a collaboration amongst SAAM and 4 accomplice museums, presents counterviews of “the West” via the eyes of recent and modern artists
Once we consider the American West, in each in style tradition and generally accepted historic narratives, we are sometimes offered with the identical photos of a previous that by no means was. We fail to contemplate vital occasions that really occurred. The story of the American West is just not merely that of rugged colonial settlers, gun-toting cowboys, or scenic expanses of vacant land: it was and nonetheless is residence to culturally-rich and various communities with many tales and experiences.
Many Wests: Artists Form an American Thought presents counterviews of “the West” via the views of forty-eight trendy and modern artists who’re reclaiming the narratives of their area. These artists showcase a broader and extra inclusive view of this area, which too typically has been dominated by romanticized myths and Euro-American historic accounts. Many Wests presents a chance to look at earlier misconceptions, query racist clichés, and spotlight all People, together with the Black, Indigenous, Asian American, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ communities who additionally stake a declare within the American West.
Developed round three central themes — Caretakers, Reminiscence Makers, and Boundary Breakers — Many Wests highlights the numerous methods artists reframe conceptions of the American West, typically demonstrating the resilience of marginalized communities who survived in opposition to the chances.
Caretakers examines how artists together with Ka’ila Farrell-Smith (Klamath Modoc) and Patrick Nagatini redefine what it means to deal with themselves, their communities, and their futures.
Reminiscence Makers explores how artists together with Sandra C. Fernández and Roger Shimomura act as transmitters of cultural reminiscence as they create forth uncared for histories of the West via their work.
Boundary Breakers highlights artists who unsettle widespread beliefs that inform the favored understanding of the American West. Their representations assert a continued presence regardless of centuries of omission and erasure by mainstream tradition. Artists reminiscent of Angela Ellsworth and Wendy Crimson Star (Apsáalooke/Crow) query simplified notions of identification, affirm their lived experiences, and refute romanticized imagery.
Many Wests options art work from the everlasting collections of the Smithsonian American Artwork Museum and 4 accomplice museums, positioned in among the fastest-growing cities and states within the western area of the USA. The nationwide tour for Many Wests kicks off this week, on July 31, on the Boise Museum of Artwork, in Boise, Idaho. It then travels to the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Artwork in Eugene, Oregon; the Utah Museum of Effective Arts in Salt Lake Metropolis; and, lastly, it concludes the tour at SAAM in Washington DC in 2024. The exhibition is the fruits of a deeply collaborative curatorial effort between the 5 museums and is a part of a multi-year initiative made potential by the Artwork Bridges Basis. Further info, together with tour dates, is offered on SAAM’s web site.