Mary Warner

DW Gallery

Living in the Southwest, even in urban centers, you occasionally come across longhorn cattle. In my limited experience, they have always seemed to be nonthreatening animals; they are quiet, not particularly active, and have very mournful faces. Looking one in the eye these days can be rather depressing. The cattle drives are long past—even those animals left out on the range are not likely to face much excitement in their lives—and only the folklore lives on.

Mary Warner, a New York painter whose roots lie in Oklahoma, Chicago, Montana, and California, has been making some startling pictures of these most Western of cattle. Her paintings bear witness to memories of Frederic Remington and of Charles Marion Russell, but they forego the nostalgia in favor of a more allegorical portraiture. Looking at Warner’s pictures I gave little thought to cattle per se; their edgy, confrontational demeanor

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