Billy Schenck

Billy Schenck has been known internationally for over 49 years as one of the originators of the contemporary Western pop art movement. Schenck has had over 100 solo shows and is included in 58 museum collections. He is an American painter who incorporates techniques from photorealism with a pop art sensibility to both exalt and poke fun at images of the West.

Career highlights for the artist include the 2013 Utah Museum of Fine Art’s exhibit Bierstadt to Warhol: American Indians in the West, the Denver Art Museum’s Western Horizons and a retrospective of serigraphs created by Schenck from 1971 to 1996 at the Tucson Museum of Art.

Museum collections include, Briscoe Western Art Museum, The James Museum, The Tucson Museum of Art, The Denver Art Museum, The Booth Museum, Albuquerque Fine Arts Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art and LA County Museum of Art. Private collections include the estate of Malcolm Forbes, Steve Forbes, Chris Evert, Elaine Horwitch, Louis Meisel, Martina Navratilova, Laurance Rockefeller, the estate of Fritz Scholder, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Corporate collections include American Airlines, IBM, Raymond James Financial, Wells Fargo Bank, Hilton Hotels, Sturm, Ruger & Co., and the Swiss National Bank.

What has remained constant throughout Schenck’s career is his individuality in dealing with the subject matter of the West. Using the artistic formula of classic Western film direction and the photographically reliant systems of contemporary art, he has bridged two genres that resonate with the American experience. From early depictions of cinematic cowboys to real-life cowboys and cowgirls, to poetic reveries about the Native American existence in the Southwest, Schenck melds the real with the imagined, autobiography with fantasy.  

—Julie Sasse, Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art