Contemporary Western Master Billy Schenck Opens One Man Show at Sorrel Sky Gallery

Schenck will be present to meet the public and talk about his paintings of the “Reinvented West”

Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango is honored to open a One Man Show of paintings by New Mexico artist Billy Schenck, internationally renowned for his cutting-edge portrayals of the American West. Schenck will be present at the downtown Durango gallery to meet the public from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2015. This is a rare opportunity for the community to meet and speak with Schenck, who is recognized as the most important and sought-after Contemporary Western artist in the country.

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Firmly rooted in the art movements of Pop and Photorealism, Schenck lived in Soho in the early 1970s, where he became friends with Andy Warhol and other American artists who were instrumental in advancing the concepts and aesthetics of modern art in the New York art world. Influenced by these early days, today Schenck embraces a postmodern attitude, often incorporating still images from western movies and his own staged photographs into his paintings to invent scenes that are totally fabricated and perfectly believable. By applying contemporary sensibilities and techniques to a traditional subject, and compelled by his interest in the icons and myth of the West, Schenck has led the way in a new genre of art: Contemporary Western Art. His approach has earned him the moniker, “Warhol of the West.”

Traditional western icons –cowboys, Native Americans, women– find a contemporary context on Schenck’s canvases and serigraphs where composition and color dominate the works. Working in a reductivist style, he distills images into the essential areas of flat, vivid color while omitting the mid-range hues. “What I am doing is not unlike what other outstanding painters of the Southwest have done. Much like Georgia O’Keeffe, I drop out the mid-tones of color,” explains Schenck.

Shanan Campbell Wells, owner of Sorrel Sky Gallery, offers, “Billy is truly a master of color, composition and reinventing the West. His contribution to Western art is immeasurable. Sorrel Sky is so honored to have an artist of this caliber showing in the gallery and the community is fortunate to be able to see his work up close and to meet him.

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This is a once-on-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Schenck’s work can be found in 48 major museum collections world-wide, including the Smithsonian Institution, Denver Art Museum, The Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Booth Western Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, and many more. His work has been the subject of seven museum retrospectives. The 2013 illustrated book, Schenck in the 21st Century: The Myth of the Hero and the Truth of America, by Amy Abrams, features work produced from 2000-2012. It won the U.S. Literary Award for Fine Arts.

Sorrel Sky Gallery’s fresh approach to Western art presents a select collection of contemporary and traditional fine art and jewelry for the discerning collector. Sorrel Sky Gallery was founded in Durango, CO in 2002 and opened its Santa Fe, NM location in 2014. It represents over 75 painters, sculptors and jewelers including bronze artist Star Liana York, painter Carrie Fell, and former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse, among others.


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