[Both at 2 cols]
Frederic Remington, âFriends or Foes? (The Scout),â circa 1900â05, oil on canvas, 27 by 40 inches. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.
Frederic Remington, âDismounted: The Fourth Trooper Moving the Led Horses,â 1890, oil on canvas, 341/16 by 4815/16 inches. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.
Revised for date
CLARK ART INSTITUTE PRESENTS âREMINGTON LOOKING WESTâ w/2 cuts
ak/lsb set 2/1 #727619
WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. â More than any other artist of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, Frederic Remingtonâs art shaped Americaâs vision of the West. âRemington Looking West,â at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute through May 4, explores how Remington saw the West, how he created his images and how his vision evolved throughout his career.
Sterling and Francine Clark purchased three works by the artist: the paintings âFriends or Foes? (The Scout)â and âDismounted (The Fourth Troopers Moving the Led Horses)â and the sculpture âThe Wounded Bunkie.â âRemington Looking Westâ focuses on these iconic works, placing them with others from public and private collections to give a fuller context to the artistâs career.
Central to the exhibition is the idea of looking, of surveillance and reconnaissance as skills that were as important to the artist as they were to the scouts, trappers and soldiers he portrayed. Through his own careful study of the West, Remington enlivened his work with rich detail that contributed greatly to the publicâs perception of the paintings as historically accurate. To demonstrate this, the exhibition includes photographs, sketches and scrapbooks from Remingtonâs personal collection.
Michael Conforti, director of the Clark, said, âIn âRemington Looking West,â we look at not only how these works fit into his career and life, but how Remington grounded his art in vibrant details to produce a compelling and convincingly authentic image of the West, even while working in his New York studio.â
Drawing largely upon archival material from the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, N.Y., âRemington Looking Westâ includes several of Remingtonâs youthful sketches, examples of his illustrations, and preparatory studies for paintings. Also included are examples of illustrations â the kind of visual reference material Remington consulted to ensure a sense of accuracy and authenticity, including scrapbooks filled with clippings of animals in motion, and examples of late Nineteenth Century ethnographic photography of American Indians.
Remington, born and raised in upstate New York, began his career as an illustrator in the mid-1880s after a few years living and traveling in the West and a failed attempt at sheep ranching. By 1887 he was participating in significant national exhibitions, including the National Academy of Designâs annual exhibitions and those at the American Art Galleries. Three of Remingtonâs large-scale paintings shown at the American Art Gallery and their preliminary sketches are included in the exhibit.
Remingtonâs bronze sculptures also captured equine drama; his first, âBroncho Busterâ (Williams College Museum of Art), was both a critical and commercial success. âThe Wounded Bunkie,â a more ambitious composition, did not fare well in the market, and only a dozen casts are known, making the Clarkâs version especially rare.
âRemington Looking Westâ is organized by the Clark and curated by Cody Hartley, assistant curator of American art.
The Clark Art Institute is at 225 South Street. For information, www.clarkart.edu or 413-458-2303.