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Gerald Peters Gallery is pleased to present Michael Cassidy, Far West: An exhibition of paintings inspired by western pulp fiction and movie posters of the 1920s and 30s. This is Cassidy’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and a continuation of his Western Pulp Series. The exhibition will feature 25 paintings including his smaller and extremely popular western portraits. The exhibition will be available to view online and in person by appointment. In addition, a digital and soft cover catalog will be available. Please inquire for more information.
The myth of the Old West is solidified into the American psyche and can be traced back to the dime novels of the mid early 19th century. Before there were films about the west, there were sensationalized stories of cowboys, Indians, cattle rustling and danger. The literary quality of these pulp books were not particularly high, but the imagery captured our imagination. In our western history and stories, real and imagined, we see ourselves as we would like to be seen.
The West is a place but also a state of mind. There’s a reason why Western art is still popular today more than a 120 years after the heyday of its subject matter. It represents something intrinsic to us. I acknowledge that the myth and the reality of the West are two different things. The reality was a beautiful but wild, harsh, brutal and unforgiving environment for all concerned. Today, the myth of the West may be more important than the reality. The West represents something crucial to living life to its fullest: Beauty, romance and adventure. The things that really make us come alive.
Some of the works in this exhibition are my idea of what the cover of a dime novel would look like on the scale of the old Western movie poster. The story titles used in the paintings are from real stories, complete with their author’s names. The romance of the West is still here. Resilience, romance and adventure still exist in this country. That’s why the myth of the West still lives. It’s hardwired into us. It’s my hope, desire and pleasure to tell those stories through painting. These paintings are stories on a wall to remind us what we’re looking for and what really makes us come alive. – Michael Cassidy