Celebrate the Cadillac Ranch at 50 in Amarillo

The Cadillac Ranch is an iconic American art installation and destination that was first installed in 1974. It was created by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who formed the art collective known as  Ant Farm. “The Cadillac Ranch at 50” exhibition is a celebration of the transformation of the Cadillac Ranch over the past 50 years. Included in the exhibition are photographs by Wyatt McSpadden, who has documented the Cadillacs since the project’s inception, as well as two video works and various ephemera from Ant Farm member Chip Lord.  

A native of Amarillo, Wyatt McSpadden began his career there in 1974 as the photographer for eccentric arts patron Stanley Marsh III. McSpadden photographed the creation of Marsh’s Cadillac Ranch and chronicled the work’s evolution from local curiosity to state landmark.

In 1992 he moved to Austin and turned his focus to editorial photography.

His portraits have appeared in scores of publications nationwide, most notably “Texas Monthly,” where he is a contributing photographer. Wyatt’s work resides in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection of the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos, the Amarillo Museum of Art, and in the homes of many private collectors. McSpadden’s photography has garnered  awards from professional stalwarts such as the Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, and the Print Regional Design Annual. His 2009 book, “Texas BBQ” (University of Texas Press)—a  photographic celebration of classic Texas barbecue joints—is in its third printing. McSpadden’s follow-up volume, “Texas BBQ: Small Town to Downtown” (University of Texas Press), was released in 2018.  

Chip Lord grew up in 1950’s America, a place that has been a sometimes source of inspiration in his work as an artist. Trained as an architect, he is a founding partner of Ant Farm, with whom he produced the video art classics “Media Burn” and “The Eternal Frame” as well as the public sculpture, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas, and the House of the Century, outside Houston.

His work crosses between documentary and experimental boundaries and moves between video, photography and installation. He often collaborates with other artists. Lord authored “Automerica” for E.P. Dutton and the car as subject also drives “MOTORIST,” “Road Movie,” and “The New Cars, 2012.” His lecture “The Long Goodbye to the Automobile” includes seven projects and speaks to the future.

Chip Lord’s work has been exhibited and  published widely and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Tate Modern, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the FRAC Centre, the Pompidou Centre, and the Berkeley Art  Museum and Pacific Film Archive. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Film & Digital Media,  U.C. Santa Cruz, and has also taught in Architecture at CCA and Columbia University GSAPP.  

“The Cadillac Ranch at 50” can be seen through August 25, 2024.

The Amarillo Museum of Art is located at 2200 South Van Buren on the Washington Street campus of  Amarillo College. Hours are Wednesday—Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.—5 p.m. For additional information, visit www.amoa.org, email amoa@actx.edu, or call (806) 371-5050 or (806) 371-5392 (weekends).  

No Comments Yet.