Warhol heads West

A new exhibition at Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum explores Andy Warhol’s love of the West

by Andrew Alexander

September 3, 2019

Featured image: Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: General Custer, 1986 Screenprint on Lenox, museum board Edition 55/250 36 × 36 inches, Collection Booth Western Art Museum, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A new exhibition at Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum near Atlanta explores Andy Warhol’s love of the American West through the art he made and the things he collected. Museum director and curator Seth Hopkins had long been fascinated by a set of Warhol prints in the museum’s permanent collection: the 14 images in Warhol’s 1986 portfolio Cowboys and Indians, one of the last projects Warhol completed before his death in 1987.

The show includes much of Warhol’s artistic output that touches on the West (including short video clips from the two Western films he made), but also some of the items he owned and collected: a few pair of the Lucchese cowboy boots he wore nearly every day of his adult life, his Roy Rogers alarm clock, the celebrity scrapbook from his childhood with autographed photos from Western stars, his Edward Curtis portraits, and several of the thousands of Native American artifacts he hoarded. 

Warhol argued that there was no depth to anything he did: “”If you want to know about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am,” he famously said. “There’s nothing behind it.”

Nonetheless, an amazingly complicated and profound vision of the West emerges from the show: Warhol depicts a region that is beautiful, vast, contentious, dreamlike, glamorous, violent, and–in the end–incomprehensibly tragic.

Warhol and the West runs at the Booth Museum through December 31.

Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: Annie Oakley, 1986 Screenprint on Lenox museum board Edition 55/250 36 × 36 inches, Collection Booth Western Art Museum © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: Geronimo, 1986 Screenprint on Lenox museum board Edition 94/250 36 × 36 inches Booth Western Art Museum, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, The American Indian (Russell Means), 1976, Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen 50 × 42 inches, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.211, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, The American Indian (Russell Means), 1976, Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 50 × 42 inches, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.212, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Endangered Species: Bald Eagle, 1983 Screenprint on Lenox museum board, 38 × 38 inches Artist’s proof 21/30, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.2466.4, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Myths: Howdy Doody, 1981, Screenprint with diamond dust on Lenox museum board 38 1⁄16 × 38 inches Artist’s proof 10/30, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.2452.6, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Endangered Species: Bighorn Ram, 1983 Screenprint on Lenox museum board 38 × 38 inches Artist’s proof 21/30, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 998.1.2466.10, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: Mother and Child, 1986 Screenprint on Lenox, museum board Edition 55/250 36 × 36 inches, Collection Booth Western Art Museum, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1979, Polaroid Polacolor Type 108, 41⁄4 × 33⁄8 inches, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 2000.2.12, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Howdy Doody, 1980, Polaroid Polacolor 2, 41⁄4 × 33 3⁄8 inches, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 2001.2.1525, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Horse, 1965, 16mm, black-and-white film, sound, 100 minutes, Film still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, 1997.4.58, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Lonesome Cowboys, 1968, 16mm, color film, sound, 109 minutes, Film still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, 1997.4.75, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Jeannette Montgomery Barron, Andy Warhol, 1985, pigment print, Courtesy of Jackson Fine Art

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