A New Show Traces How an Ambitious Young Georgia O’Keeffe Transitioned From Intimate Drawings to Her Masterly Oil Paintings—See Images Here

While museums are closed to the public, we are spotlighting an inspiring exhibition somewhere around the globe each day.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue, No. 2 (1918). Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art/Licensed by Scala/Art Resource, NY.
Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue, No. 2 (1918). Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art/Licensed by Scala/Art Resource, NY.

While museums around the globe are closed to the public, we are spotlighting each day an inspiring exhibition. Even if you can’t see it in person, allow us to give you a virtual look. 

 

Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstract Variations
Seattle Art Museum

 

What the museum says: “At the heart of the installation is Music, Pink and Blue, No. 1, a recent addition to the Seattle Art Museum’s collection and a gift of late trustee Barney A. Ebsworth. The first complete expression of O’Keeffe’s personal brand of modernism, ‘Abstract Variations’ brings Music, Pink and Blue, No. 1 together with Music, Pink and Blue, No. 2, from the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, for the first time in Seattle, along with loans from museums across the country.

Music, Pink and Blue, No. 1 is O’Keeffe’s first major oil painting. She painted it after moving to New York City in 1918, departing from the more intimate media of charcoal and watercolor to take up the more public and ambitious medium of oil. Examples of her earlier drawings in the exhibition illustrate this transition, while subsequent paintings demonstrate what came later in O’Keeffe’s work. Also on view are photographs of the artist by Alfred Stieglitz.”

Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe (in a chemise) (1918). Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe / Art Resource, NY.

Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe (in a chemise) (1918). Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa
Fe / Art Resource, NY.

Why it’s worth a look: The show had barely opened at the Seattle Art Museum before national closures were enforced. When museums reopen, this show is one to seek out for an enlightening look at a lesser known aspect of O’Keeffe’s storied career.

Though best known for her oil paintings of lush petals and blossoms, O’Keeffe was a master of more intimately scaled watercolors and charcoal drawings, where she was able to practice a brand of abstraction that looks more akin to the work of Bauhaus artists like László Moholy-Nagy with geometric shapes and linear compositions. Alongside the drawings and paintings are photographs that Alfred Stiegletz took of O’Keeffe, who served as his muse and later became his wife. In the meantime, the museum is also offering some interactive aspects online.

What it looks like:

Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue, No. 1 (1918). Courtesy Seattle Art Museum, photo: Paul Macapia.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue, No. 1 (1918). Photo: Paul Macapia, courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum.

Drawings from Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstract Variations. Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Georgia O’Keeffe, I-Special (1916). Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Drawings from Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstract Variations. Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Second, Out of My Head (1915). Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Drawings from Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstract Variations. Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Georgia O’Keeffe, No-2 Special (1915). Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Georgia O'Keeffe, No. 20-From Music-Special (1915). Courtesy National Gallery of Art.

Georgia O’Keeffe, No. 20-From Music-Special (1915). Courtesy National Gallery of Art.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Grey Blue & Black-Pink Circle (1929). Dallas Museum of Art.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Grey Blue & Black-Pink Circle (1929). Dallas Museum of Art.

Georgia O’Keeffe, No-7 Special (1915). Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Grey Lines with Black, Blue and Yellow (ca. 1923). Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. © 2019 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/ ARS NY.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Grey Lines with Black, Blue and Yellow (ca. 1923). Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. © 2019 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ ARS NY.

Georgia O’Keeffe, No-3 Special (1915). Courtesy of © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Georgia O'Keeffe, BLack, White and Blue (1930). © 2019 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/ ARS NY.

Georgia O’Keeffe, BLack, White and Blue (1930). © 2019 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/ ARS NY.


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