Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Curator Barbara Haskell discusses the exhibition "Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction," on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art through January 17. The show includes more than 125 paintings, drawings, watercolors, and sculptures as well as selections from Alfred Stieglitz’s photographic portrait series of O’Keeffe.


Barbara Haskell

Comments [3]

debbie yorizzo

This exhibition is awesome. They should make the museum into an ice skating rink, because O'Keeffe's work is best seen in many angles, many times. Contrary to most normal viewers, I take in her work with one giant sweep and then go back and visually scrutinize each piece.

I do wish more people would see her work as a kind of jab at the fattening of photography; her paintings show what photographs could never capture - depth, vibrant color and a total relationship between viewer and canvas. A deep look at those paintings and you can feel what it was like to be her, and think about the critical times in which she painted.

People seem to talk (not WNYC, but in the mainstream world) with gossip about her personal life as an artist, before they really look at her colors and shapes and what her art really captures, and the power she created with her brush.

It's funny that she is quoted at the Whitney as saying that "the meaning of a word - to me -is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Color and shapes make a more definite statement then words." And yet people today put all these words to her as a painter, often overlooking the work itself. Oh wait, I see now, she is saying that color is more exact than words, so of course the words that we apply to her work will be distorted since words and colors are almost two different languages.

I'm sorry I should have thought about this before I wrote it. But, it wouldn't be the first time that Leonard Lopate helped me think out a thought! Thanks a color-lot!

Dec. 16 2009 08:39 PM
Laura from Manhattan

Miracle! I sent the question just as you answered part of it.

Did O'Keefe prefer watercolor or oil, and what do the experts say about the difference in her work in watercolor vs. oil.


Dec. 16 2009 01:12 PM
Laura from Manhattan

Please ask about the difference between O'Keefe's watercolors and oil paintings--the exhibition text implies she was urged to switch from watercolor to oil because oils sell for higher prices. My impression was that watercolor suited her better especially in her early abstract work.


Dec. 16 2009 01:10 PM

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