Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Georgia OKeeffe, Brooklyn and the Skull-on-Wall #okeeffemodern

Image result for georgia o'keeffe
Georgia \OKeeffe and the Skull-on-Wall

We got back from Colorado with the sketches of the West on our minds.  The red rocks, hot springs, and epic skies reverberated through our minds that first night back.  We woke early Sunday to go see
the Georgia O'Keeffe show at the Brooklyn Museum.  It was lovely being back in town, making our way through our city, and reflecting on what it must have been like to go to that first show of O'Keeffe's at the museum in 1927. Ninety years later, the Georgia O'Keefe: Living Modern show at the Brooklyn Museum was not a retrospective, it offered an image of her life and aesthetics, including her paintings, fashion, homes, and countless photographs of the artist. 
I have never known she lived with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who helped create an image of her
for the world. And her myth grew.

Image result for Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz
O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz
While he photographed her, she painted her world, taking lines and curves of the Brooklyn Bridge,
the modernist sentiments of Manhattan, the city in the distance from her apartment in Chelsea.
And gradually, she made her way out west where she was intrigued with the dessert, the colors, bones, and what seems the passing of time.  Holding a skull of some animal, she seems to be reminding us of where we are all going.
And the world was taken by her sensibilities. After Stieglitz' passing she moved out to New Mexico
permanently, where she painted and painted, until she melded into the sky.

Fans of her work may be disappointed by how few actual paintings there are by O'Keefe in the show.
For example, her orchids ae nowhere to be seen.

Image result for Georgia O'Keeffe orchids

What are there are clothes and black and white photographs of a woman who people wanted to photograph, almost as a fetish. O'Keefe's world becomes fashion, her paintings art, her world something we are all invited to gaze upon.

Walking around the rest of the museum, we enjoyed the light and color.  As usual some work was better than others. But the museum is a friend, a place for nourishment and so are the streets of Brooklyn, where we saw some friends, ate lunch and wandered home.  

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

MARCH 3–JULY 23, 2017

Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona—including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O'Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.
In addition to selected paintings and items of clothing, the exhibition presents photographs of O’Keeffe and her homes by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, Todd Webb, and others. It also includes works that entered the Brooklyn collection following O’Keeffe’s first-ever museum exhibition—held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927.
The exhibition is organized in sections that run from her early years, when O’Keeffe crafted a signature style of dress that dispensed with ornamentation; to her years in New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress; and to her later years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colors of the Southwestern landscape. The final section explores the enormous role photography played in the artist’s reinvention of herself in the Southwest, when a younger generation of photographers visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

A lovely lunch of Japanese food after the show.

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