Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three from the Western Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

"The Open Range"
"War Bridle" by Frederic Remington

If you live in Denver and you still haven't checked out the recently reopened 7th floor of the Denver Art Museum you're missing out. It is dedicated to Western art - a genre I've really begun to appreciate since moving West. I shot photos of these three pieces on my visit Tuesday.

While I don't always relate to the subject matter in a lot of Western painting, many of the artists are exceptional painters - especially in their ability to capture different atmospheric and lighting conditions. Take these three for instance;

  • "The Open Range" displays the clear, often blinding sun that is typical of the West. If you look carefully you'll notice that there are no real dark color values- even the shadows on the ground are bleached by the sun.
  • Remington's pieces also portrays a high-noon sun gleaming against the backs of the two white shirted cowboys.
  • The "Stampede" on the other hand carefully composes the work with more detail in the foreground and soft, looser brush-strokes in the background - adding to the action and the depth of the image. It is almost entirely monochrome and his handling of subtle value variations is amazing.


liza said...

Thanks, Nathan. I like your descriptions of how the artists capture western elements. It makes me look much more carefully at how the work was accomplished.

Nathan said...

Yeah I'm becoming a real proponent of Western art lately. I used to always brush it off, but I've developed a real appreciation for it - especially since moving to Colorado.


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