Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Striking Similarities

One of my favorite all time artists is the legendary Georgia O’Keeffe. I think one of the reasons is because of the blatant feminism of her work, although I don't think she was so much into a movement, as she was herself. She was a woman, and her work reflected a gender bias that I find appealing. She was also married to Alfred Stieglitz, whom I studied and admired back as a photography student. I recently came across a news release for a show of hers at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The announcement goes like this: Vancouver Art Gallery will present a sweeping retrospective of paintings by legendary Modernist Georgia O’Keeffe from October 6, 2007 to January 13, 2008. Georgia O’Keeffe: Nature and Abstraction is the second solo exhibition of O’Keeffe’s work presented in Canada and the first in 50 years. Comprising a stunning collection of 28 canvases spanning the artist’s entire career, the exhibition is punctuated by an important selection of photographs of O’Keeffe as a young woman taken by husband and fellow artist, Alfred Stieglitz, and of the artist later in life captured by renowned American photographer Todd Webb. Guest curated by Richard D. Marshall, former curator at the Whitney Museum of Art, the exhibition is the product of an innovative collaboration between the Vancouver Art Gallery and Irish Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibit is focused on the idea that O'Keeffe had an uncanny ability to transform nature into abstraction. What originally caught my eye about the announcement was the image on the left, because of its striking similarities to a work by artist Rayhart, which I had just moments before been processing. I think Rayhart has also transformed nature into abstraction in a manner that reflects on O'Keeffe's tradition. Take a look for yourself, and tell me what you think.--Ruth Mitchell
"Rare Earth" - Rayhart

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