Cowboys and Indians

Charting the not-so-grand endeavors of Frank Reaugh and Edward Sheriff Curtis

The actual landscapes are another matter. Curtis, far more than Reaugh, set out to mythologize, to tell white lies, and for this reason he belongs in the roll-call of important Western artists. Of course this category is an art-historical oxymoron, and Curtis' results, like Remington's, are often as schmaltzy and stilted and dishonest as anything produced under the guise of official Soviet state realism. Curtis' point of view simply makes his work somewhat more palatable to contemporary tastes, and this seems a slender reed upon which to hang greatness.

"A Zuñi Woman," a 1903 photogravure by Edward S. Curtis, now on view at Photographs Do Not Bend
"A Zuñi Woman," a 1903 photogravure by Edward S. Curtis, now on view at Photographs Do Not Bend

Details

Frank Reaugh's Symphony of Shade and Light is on display through October 21 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary. Call 214-953-1212.

Edward Sheriff Curtis runs through October 13 at Photographs Do Not Bend. Call 214-969-1852.

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