Georgia O’Keeffe’s UK Survey After Twenty Three Years
It has been one hundred years since Georgia O’Keeffe, the American iconic painter made her debut as a professional artist in New York at the 291 gallery, and now Tate Modern would open the first UK survey of her work after 1993. The fact that almost the entire collection has been pulled from US collection goes on to highlight the fact that none of the public museums in UK hold any of O’Keeffe’s work.
The survey that would include around 100 of O’Keeffe’s works and would open with abstract charcoals. As per the curator of the exhibition Tanya Barson, the showcase would include some of her works even from her first 291 exhibition and travel through a series of skyscapes that the artist made in the early 1960s when she was still at the helm of her fame.
The survey will consist of thirteen galleries organized in a chronological and thematic manner for the visitors to first experience the lesser known works and then the iconic florals and the landscapes of south-west America. From 1918 to the early 1930s, O’Keeffe spent her annual holiday in upstate New York at Lake George and one whole gallery is dedicated to the paintings she made during her stay here. One of the galleries would showcase the photographs of O’Keeffe taken by the founder of 291 gallery Alfred Stieglitz, who later got married to her. O’Keeffe was not a mere model though, but a collaborator and author here, says Barson. All these works showcase the innate strength that O’Keeffe was associated with.
As per Barson, the central aim of the showcase and survey is to “privilege O’Keeffe’s voice.” It is quite well known that the artist never agreed with the interpretations that were made since the beginning. For example the Freudian readings of her floral paintings that actually originated with Stieglitz, her husband highlighted the assumption that they bore an uncanny resemblance to vaginal forms. Barson however is of the opinion and believes that the flower paintings are about forms, color, and composition.
The survey is being organized in collaboration by the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna where the exhibition will be organized from December 7th to March 26th 2017 and by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto from April 22nd to July 30th 2017. Meanwhile the showcase is on at the Tate Modern, London, from July 6th to October 30th, 2016.