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 Author Nora Burnett Abrams and Miranda Lash and Jongwoo Jeremy Kim

The Cowboy, Reconsidered: the enduring myth of the cowboy is a richer, more diverse story than most understand. In this survey, some of the most important artists working today take up the cowboy through the lens of queer, Black, Asian, and Latinx perspectives.

Perhaps no other figure in the American popular imagination conjures the respect, mystery, and adoration than that of the cowboy. And it’s long been a favorite subject of artists from the early twentieth century to today. In this unique exhibition and accompanying catalogue, the cowboy is explored in depth from diverse perspectives and lived experience, ushering in a new vision for this long-standing pop icon.

Director and co-curator Nora Burnett Abrams considers the cowboy through historical perspectives, breaking down the myth and mystique. In an extended interview, co-curator Miranda Lash talks with queer Latinx artist rafa esparza who considers the vaquero (the Spanish term for cowboy) and the influence of norteño culture in his work. Jongwoo Jeremy Kim provides an in-depth analysis of artist Kenneth Tam’s practice and deeper discussion of Asian American masculinity, sexuality, and how they are represented. Myeshia Babers shares the history of the Black rodeo cowboy, and how this figure performs and functions today, and artist R. Alan Brooks conjures the history of Dearfield, Colorado, one of the earliest Black homesteading communities in the state, through a dream-like short graphic novel. 

Artist List: John Baldessari, R. Alan Brooks, Mel Chin, Gregg Deal, Angela Ellsworth, rafa esparza, Fabian Guerrero, Juan Fuentes, Karl Haendel, Luis Jiménez, Kahlil Joseph, Grace Kennison, Deana Lawson, Matthew J. Mahoney, Laurel Nakadate, Richard Prince, Otis Kwame Quaicoe, Akasha Rabut, Lucy Raven, Ken Taylor Reynaga, Yumi Roth in collaboration with Emmanuel David, Ana Segovia, Amy Sherald, Stephanie Syjuco, Kenneth Tam, Andy Warhol, and Nathan Young

About The Author

Nora Burnett Abrams is the Marc G. Falcone Director of MCA Denver. Miranda Lash is the Ellen Bruss Senior Curator at MCA Denver. Jongwoo Jeremy Kim is Associate Professor of Art History and Theory at Carnegie Mellon University. Myeshia C. Babers is a Cultural Anthropologist and Director at Let's Dialogue, LLC.. R. Alan Brooks is Professor of Graphic Narrative at Regis University.

  • Publish Date: October 10, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - General
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 9 x 11
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $75.00
  • CDN Price: $100.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-7375-3