The ideals of the American West and frontier living have influenced lifestyles in this country for generations. Even those without ancestral ties to the frontier feel a bond with the pioneer spirit that led so many generations westward in search of homes and new lives. This quest for expansion connects with some of the deepest instincts within ourselves for survival and control over the wild.
The engaging draw that the powerful imagery of the West can conjure has increased the profile and popularity of Western-themed art in galleries all over the country. Exhibitions involving many of these pieces, some of them a century or more old, have been popping up at respected art houses all over the country, including New York City’s Metropolitan Museum.
As this New York Times article discusses, an exhibition at The Met that displays many treasured heirlooms from the Western art world is running now through mid-April 2014. The rough aesthetic of many of these pieces is evidence of a lack of training, but throughout the years, these artists have shown a passion for creating living pieces of art based on the natural world they experienced every day.
The exhibition contains a variety of pieces representing different regions and periods of the West. A small replica of the Kit Carson statue gracing downtown Denver, CO, can be found among the various relics. The author of the above article particularly enjoyed a piece by American Modernist Paul Manship, a 1914 Art Deco-style piece involving a sculpture of an Indian who has just shot an antelope.
Western art conveys some of the brightest and darkest sides of the American experience. We see the glory of open horizons and feel a respect and appreciation for our reliance on Mother Earth. At the same time, we are reminded of what we have sometimes done as a people in order to earn a corner of the country to call our own. This dichotomy can make the genre of Western art a very influential one for any artist.
Horses By McGee is all about representing the power and beauty of the natural West on canvas. Make sure to browse through the many offerings available in our galleries to see if you find any that strike your fancy. These affordable art prints can bring the pioneer spirit into your home or office today.
Post by Barbara McGee.