SUMA’s western pop exhibits feature Andy Warhol and Billy Schenck

The Southern Utah Museum of Art is honored to present western pop art from Andy Warhol and Billy Schenck for the spring 2022 semester exhibit beginning Jan. 19 through March 19. 

Andy Warhol’s “Cowboys and Indians” and Billy Schenck’s “Myth of the West” are complementary exhibits that push different art forms into a new aesthetic. The exhibit will feature the full “Cowboys and Indians” portfolio including trial prints and 26 pieces in Schenck’s style.

Warhol is an iconic artist and was a leading figure in the pop art movement. His ability to understand and convey the essence of different archetypes found in America is unmatched. Early works like “Soup Cans” and the “Elvis Presley” series capture the essence and myths of the baby-boomer generation. 

“Cowboys and Indians” was a project that challenged American media culture in the 1980s, paying tribute to classic and popular American west symbols. It combines portraits and totemic images to create a time capsule of America during that period. 

Warhol’s art combines genres like modernism and traditional representation in a skillful way that gained respect from contemporary art collectors and paved the way for artists like Schenck. 

Schenck is a contemporary artist whose reductivist style sets him apart. He is considered the “Warhol of the West” because of his contributions to the western pop art movement. He finds inspiration and material from western paintings, movies stills and personal photographs to transform them into flat, simplified color and stylized patterns. 

Along with the SUMA exhibition, the Modern West Fine Art gallery in Salt Lake City will feature Schenck’s “Utah: A Land Less Traveled” with paintings depicting Utah landscapes. 

SUMA will host activities and programs that correspond to the western pop exhibits throughout the semester. Art Adventures is on Jan. 29 where there will be a day trip to Modern West Fine Art to see Schenck’s pieces. Tickets include transportation and lunch and will need to be purchased beforehand on Eventbrite

On Feb. 5, SUMA will hold Community Day where they will provide hands-on art and educational activities along with live music. The Curator Discussion is on Feb. 17, featuring Schenck as he talks to Modern West Director Shalee Cooper and SUMA Executive Director Jessica Kinsey about his concurrent exhibitions. 

Students can find more information about SUMA’s current exhibits on their website

Story By: Addie Horsley
Photo Courtesy of Southern Utah Museum of Art