Thursday, 21 July 2016

Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition

London’s Tate Modern is showing a retrospective of Georgia O’Keeffe. Inspired by cubism and other avant-garde art movements in Europe, American artists in the early 20th century were creating novel, cutting-edge forms of expression. O’Keeffe was one of the driving forces behind this period of unprecedented stimulating and dynamic change in the American art scene.

Influence of Modernist Photography
O’Keeffe debuted her work in New York a century ago in 1916 and continued a long painting career of seventy years. She had a narrow range of motifs that included flowers, landscapes and animal bones and depicted these in exaggerated magnified dimensions. Her characteristic compositions have been attributed to the influence of modernist photography. One individual who particularly shaped O’Keeffe’s works was her husband Alfred Stieglitz who ran a gallery devoted to avant-garde art from Europe and was regarded as the father of modernist photography.

Large-scale Flowers
O’Keeffe’s masterpiece Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (fig. 1) depicts a single jimson weed blossom. O’Keeffe magnified the plant to fill the canvas but portrayed the center of the flower and veins of the leaves simply, limiting the use of colors to blue, green and white in contrasting shades. By incorporating techniques of photography, she gave new expression to the traditional theme of a still life of a plant.

Primal Landscape of America
Following the death of Stieglitz, O’Keeffe moved to Abiquiú, a small town in New Mexico in the American southwest which O’Keeffe had fallen in love with and visited many times. There, O’Keeffe used as motifs for her work, the dry and desolate landscapes and stones and buffalo bones that she collected herself. Her eyesight began to deteriorate in the 1970s, but she continued to paint with the help of an assistant until her death at 98.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Until October 30. (Closed Mondays)
Tate Modern
SE1 9TG, United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7887 8888
Opening times:
Sunday to Thursday 10:00-18:00
Friday to Saturday 10:00-22:00