Museum Minute: I-80 Energy Romance

Oct 18, 2018

I-80 Energy Romance, 2013. Oil on linen, 28 x 64 inches. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY. Gift of The Alexander Bodini Foundation, in memory of Alexander Bodini. 15.13

Don Stinson is a contemporary artist who uses traditional methods and materials. His painting “I-80 Energy Romance” portrays a western landscape, but also depicts a gas station sign, truck tracks, and windmills.

Karen McWhorter, the curator of the Whitney Western Art Museum, said this landscape is clearly shaped by human hands.

“But signs of human presence here aren't overwhelming the environment around them. We can see that actually Nature is taking back what was once taken by human hands,” said McWhorter. “We're not dismissing the fact that humans have indelibly shaped the Western landscape.”

And McWhorter said this is Stinson’s intention. He wants to create beautiful paintings, but he also wants to make the audience think about how humans have influenced the West.