The Western: An Epic in Art and Film is the first major exhibition to examine the Western genre and its evolution from the mid-1800s to the present through fine art, film, and popular culture. Featuring 160 works, the exhibition explores gender roles, race relations, and gun violence—offering a visual journey that is more than cowboys and American Indians, pursuits and duels, or bandits and barroom brawls.
From the romantic, large-scale paintings by Frederic Remington and Albert Bierstadt to the legends of “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Billy the Kid, the American West materializes: it is synonymous with the Westerns of filmmakers John Ford and Sergio Leone, and the subject of contemporary artists Ed Ruscha and Kent Monkman. By featuring these and other artists, authors, filmmakers, and historic figures together, The Western observes how the mythology of the West spread throughout the world and endures today.
The Western: An Epic in Art and Film is co-organized by the DAM and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA); co-curated by Thomas Brent Smith, director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the DAM, and Mary Dailey Desmarais, Ph.D., curator of International Modern Art at the MMFA.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a 320-page illustrated book with essays and interviews by renowned historians, artists, and directors. The book will be available in The Shops at the Denver Art Museum and online.