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New York

MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

Exhibition Detail
Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West
Curated by: Eva Respini
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019


March 29th, 2009 - June 8th, 2009
 
Untitled Film Still #43, Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #43,
1979, Gelatin silver print, 7 9/16 x 9 7/16”
© Cindy Sherman
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Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West examines how photography has pictured the idea of the American West from 1850 to the present. Photography's development coincided with the exploration and the settlement of the West, and their simultaneous rise resulted in a complex association that has shaped the perception of the West's physical and social landscape to this day. For over 150 years, the image of the West has been formed and changed through a variety of photographic traditions and genres, and this exhibition considers the medium's role in shaping our collective imagination of the West.

Into the Sunset brings together over 120 photographs made by a variety of photographers. These works illustrate photography's role in popularizing ideas of the sublime landscape, Manifest Destiny, and the "land of opportunity," as well as describing a more complex vision of the West, one that addresses cultural dislocation, environmental devastation, and failed social aspirations. Organized thematically, Into the Sunset includes photographs dating from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, incorporating a range of artistic strategies, motifs, and concerns, and featuring the work of approximately seventy photographers, including Robert Adams, John Baldessari, Dorothea Lange, Timothy O'Sullivan, Cindy Sherman, Joel Sternfeld, Edward Weston, and Carleton E. Watkins. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.


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