O’Ke­effe show an ut­ter de­light at Tate Mod­ern

Tate Mod­ern, Lon­don Show­ing un­til: 30 Oc­to­ber 2016

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ART ROUNDUP -

Tate Mod­ern presents the largest ret­ro­spec­tive of mod­ernist painter Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe (1887-1986) ever to be shown out­side of Amer­ica. Mark­ing a cen­tury since O’Ke­effe’s de­but in New York in 1916, it is the first UK ex­hi­bi­tion of her work for over 20 years. This am­bi­tious and widerang­ing sur­vey re­assesses the artist’s place in the canon of 20th-cen­tury art and re­veals her pro­found im­por­tance. With no works by O’Ke­effe in UK pub­lic col­lec­tions, the ex­hi­bi­tion is a once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity for Euro­pean au­di­ences to view her oeu­vre in such depth.

Widely recog­nised as a found­ing fig­ure of Amer­i­can mod­ernism, O’Ke­effe gained a cen­tral po­si­tion in lead­ing art cir­cles be­tween the 1910s and the 1970s. She was also claimed as an im­por­tant pi­o­neer by fem­i­nist artists of the 1970s. Span­ning the six decades in which O’Ke­effe was at her most pro­duc­tive and fea­tur­ing over 100 ma­jor works, the ex­hi­bi­tion charts the pro­gres­sion of her prac­tice from her early ab­stract ex­per­i­ments to her late works, aim­ing to dis­pel the clichés that per­sist about the artist and her paint­ing.

Open­ing with the mo­ment of her first show­ings at ‘291’ gallery in New York in 1916 and 1917, the ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures O’Ke­effe’s ear­li­est ma­ture works made while she was work­ing as a teacher in Vir­ginia and Texas. Char­coals such as Spe­cial No.9 1915 and Early No. 2 1915 are shown along­side a se­lect group of highly coloured wa­ter­colours and oils, such as Sun­rise 1916 and Blue and Green Mu­sic 1919. Th­ese works in­ves­ti­gate the re­la­tion­ship of form to land­scape, mu­sic, colour and com­po­si­tion, and re­veal O’Ke­effe’s de­vel­op­ing un­der­stand­ing of synaes­the­sia.

Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe Black Mesa Land­scape, New Mex­ico / Out Back of Marie’s II 1930 Oil on can­vas mounted on board

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