Warhol’s West coming to the James Museum in downtown St. Pete

Warhol’s West coming to the James Museum in downtown St. Pete

exterior of a museum with a banner reading "Warhol's west" in purple letters

A brand new Andy Warhol Exhibit, Warhol’s West, is set to debut inside The James Museum in downtown St. Petersburg this October.

Warhol’s West explores Pop artist Andy Warhol’s fascination with the American West. The exhibition presents a wide range of Western imagery and more by Warhol, including his last major suite Cowboys and Indians (1986). Famous faces in the series include Geronimo, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Theodore Roosevelt. These works of art reveal Warhol’s process and some of the most understudied aspects of the artist’s career.

For those who have yet to explore this expansive downtown oasis, let this new exhibit be the invocation. Beyond the towering sculptures and transfixing infinity waterfall lies a Western world of wonders.

Displaying the unique works of Andy Warhol at The James Museum

“We are proud to host this exhibition celebrating Andy’s little-known appreciation of the American West,” said Emily Kapes, Curator at The James Museum. “With so many different perspectives within his work and the Western experience, we see this exhibition as an opportunity to fully explore Andy Warhol’s affinity for the West, which was well represented in his travels, art, movies, and fashion.”

Warhol’s West introduces the range of western imagery Warhol produced. Selected works examine how Warhol’s western work merges the artist’s portrayal of celebrities with his interest in cowboys, American Indians, and western motifs. His work in the western genre is immediately recognizable, impressive, daring, inspirational, and sometimes confrontational. This body of work furthers our understanding of how the American West infiltrates the public’s imagination through contemporary art and popular culture.

Warhol interprets 19th Century History in this collection

Cowboys and Indians juxtaposes images of pop culture’s mythic West with Warhol’s interpretations of 19th century history, all in his signature style. Pop art was hailed during its heyday as purely American. Warhol himself regularly told interviewers he was as American as they come. And there are few things as uniquely American as the people and cultures of the West. Determining Warhol’s intent or social commentary is difficult, if not impossible, as he insisted that the surface was all there was. But his art does seem to go deeper, with nuances and complexities to discover. What is clear is, Warhol’s ability to find subjects that hold meaning still today, a reminder that the American West and its myths have influenced and inspired people through a turbulent past into a dynamic present and shared future.  

Warhol’s West was organized by Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA, and the Cochran Collection, LaGrange, GA and will be on display from October 2, 2021 – January 9, 2022.

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