The wide­ness and won­der,

Pasatiempo - - On­stage This Week -

ma­te­ri­als demon­strate how she stud­ied the prop­er­ties of ob­jects she ad­mired, de­vel­op­ing fa­vorite vis­ual mo­tifs.”

Both Kast­ner and Lynes make clear that dis­play­ing bones from O’Ke­effe’s col­lec­tion and re­lat­ing them to the paint­ings they in­spired does not re­veal O’Ke­effe’s process. How­ever, Kast­ner said, “In re­view­ing O’Ke­effe’s many de­scrip­tions of the bones and how [they] changed her view of the land­scape and the sky, we re­al­ized how deeply she thought about them.” Sim­i­larly, she con­tin­ued, “I have in­cluded in the ex­hi­bi­tion three of O’Ke­effe’s Po­laroid pho­to­graphs of Glen Canyon. The pho­to­graphs were taken at var­i­ous times dur­ing the day. They show O’Ke­effe’s close at­ten­tion to the play of light and shadow. In­stalled near the fin­ished paint­ing of the land­scape, they show as­pects of her de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.”

O’Ke­effe’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing process is also an­a­lyzed via in­frared pho­to­graphs made by Dale Kronkright, the mu­seum’s head of con­ser­va­tion. These, Kast­ner said, “re­veal the artist’s hand be­neath the fin­ished sur­face of her paint­ings — that is, O’Ke­effe used pen­cil or char­coal to out­line her com­po­si­tions on can­vas be­fore paint­ing.” The pho­to­graphs also “con­firm that O’Ke­effe’s painted sur­faces are quite faith­ful to the draw­ings un­der­neath.”

Be­ing faith­ful to what is un­der­neath is a large part of what makes O’Ke­ef­fi­ana so com­pelling. The ex­hi­bi­tion al­lows view­ers to see how O’Ke­effe thought about her art and ex­e­cuted it and how, through her cho­sen ob­jects and ma­te­ri­als, she was able to con­vey, in her own way “the wide­ness and won­der of the world as I live in it.”

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