The Searchers is an exhibition of paintings, works on paper, video, and sculpture that explores the contradictory and lingering cultural impact of the frontier in the American psyche. The included works swagger with bravado and poke fun with sly humor, evoke a sense of longing, and underscore the fine line between a utopic and dystopic vision, where optimism gives way to compromise and resignation. In his recent article about the John Ford film from which the exhibition gets its name, critic A.O. Scott notes that it is “overtly concerned with the kind of moral argument that is, or should be, at the center of American political discourse at a time of war and terrorism.” The artists are actively engaged in this discourse, mining the history of the frontier and its resultant iconography to convey the impossibility of building up without breaking down, conquering or dividing.
Curated by Patricia Maloney.
Christina Battle, Sandow Birk, Jeremy Blake, Bill Davenport, Lynne Harlow, Matthew Day Jackson, Reuben Lorch-Miller, Mary Lucier, Wardell Milan II, Shaun O’Dell, David Rathman, Alexis Smith, Tracey Snelling, Lane Twitchell, Anna Von Mertens, Letha Wilson
White Box Speaks – Panel Discussion Wednesday, October 18, 6:30 pm
Nobody Gets to be a Cowboy Forever Moderated by Sean Wilsey, Editor-at-Large, McSweeney’s