Route 66 artwork from Amarillo figures prominently in an art show in the unlikely locale of Plainview, Texas (pop. 20,700).
The “Yellow City Art” show at Contemporary Art Museum Plainview, which runs through February, features the work of photographer Ed Ruscha (known for his 1963 “Twentysix Gasoline Stations” photo book) and the late Stanley Marsh 3, best known for shepherding Cadillac Ranch and the weird and whimsical Dynamite Museum signs. Other artists are featured there, but Ruscha and Marsh remain the best-known.
Amarillo, by the way, translates to “yellow city” from Spanish.
Natalie Hegert of Glasstire.com, which covers the visual arts scene in Texas, writes:
The resulting exhibition is surprising and wide-ranging, but, owing to the foundation laid in the historical works in the exhibition, it offers a view of Amarillo art that is coherent, syncretic, and satisfying. Being a newcomer, I don’t know enough about the Amarillo art scene to identify any gaping holes in the exhibition’s roster of artists, but the show has clearly been carefully and considerately curated. Many of the artists have little to no web presence, and only someone who is invested in and knowledgeable of the local art community would know about their work, and intimately enough to complement it so well with the other works in the show, and tie it back to the art historical examples that form the basis of the exhibition.
You’d think a show that concentrates this much on Amarillo would be displayed in Amarillo. You are wrong:
In an email to me, Revett said he pitched the show to the Amarillo Museum of Art, “but they were not that interested.” Their loss.
I suspect the primary reason the Amarillo museum declined the show was because Marsh died in 2014 while being under indictment on multiple counts of sexual assault of two teenagers.
But with the hundreds, if not thousands, of people flocking just to Cadillac Ranch daily, Marsh’s impact on Amarillo remains immense.
Plainview sits about 75 miles straight south of Amarillo.
(Image of Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo by Whatknot via Flickr)