Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014
The sculpture Pioneer Woman in the current exhibition The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925 caught my attention because it depicts a woman. Before you roll your eyes and claim that I am stating the obvious, bear with me! The field of American Western art is dominated by renditions of men and animals, so Bryant Baker's sculpture offers a unique approach to capturing the West. The very fact that Pioneer Woman focuses on a pioneer woman makes it noteworthy, but the meaning of the work is more elusive than just its subject matter.
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Sculptures capture emotions and body movements, which, in my opinion, makes them more relatable than paintings. The sculptures in the exhibition The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925 really evoke the American West, and the details bring the pieces to life. Cast in different sizes and displayed on pedestals of different heights, the pieces create an effect like a mountain range. The ridges and valleys work to draw your attention to each piece, no matter its size, and the lack of conformity allows the viewer to allocate time to each sculpture and absorb its details.
Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The first object seen upon entering the exhibition The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925 is a buffalo, perhaps one of the most important symbols of the American West. This sculpture, Henry Merwin Shrady's Buffalo, stands in front of a blown-up chromolithograph of a herd of wild buffalo, and showcases the exhibition's unique point of view, blending the artists' and patrons' fondest memories and wildest dreams of what the vast, "untouched" frontier meant. Nostalgia and excitement abound in the exhibition, as brave pioneers conquer the West and search for the American Dream.