Warhol x Scholder: Cowboys & Indians @ Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas

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Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas // October 03, 2023 – December 10, 2023

There is so much of America that is like cinema. There are the ones who are ingrained in the fabric of the story, the ones who are inherent in the DNA of the landscape, the thread that ties the expanse of the place together. And there are the ones who project our conceptions back to us. There is something to be said about the late Native American artist Fritz Scholder being paired with the late Pop Artist Andy Warhol in an exhibition entitled Warhol x Scholder: Cowboys & Indians, on view at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas this fall. It’s quite a significant and smart curation, as both artists created a sense of what America was and were to become in such disparate yet seemingly coherent ways.

That is the cinematic part of this show. Where Scholder spent a lifetime working on the complicated Western vision of the “Native American,” challenging the misconceptions, Warhol’s final body of work, Cowboys and Indians, examined the pop-cultural use of the frontier and the expansion to the West. “Those themes which Warhol dealt with through deification, by gilding an already pretty-well gilded calf, Scholder dealt with through more outright iconoclasm,” says exhibition co-curator Matthew K. Ward. “Here we have a White artist and an Indigenous artist, two men who knew each other, who met each other, dealing with the story of the West in two, aesthetically, very different ways. Philosophically, however, there are some interesting parallels.” —Evan Pricco

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