7 Reasons to Get Excited About the Tate Modern’s Georgia O’Keeffe Show

Over 100 of the artist's works will be on view.

Georgia O'Keeffe.Photo: Courtesy of YouTube.
Georgia O'Keeffe.
Photo: Courtesy of YouTube.
Georgia O'Keeffe.Photo: Courtesy of YouTube.

Georgia O’Keeffe.
Photo: Courtesy of YouTube.

Nineteen hundred and sixteen was a tumultuous year for Georgia O’Keeffe. The artist lost her mother, gained her lifelong lover Alfred Stieglitz, and debuted her work in a group exhibition at New York’s 291 gallery.

One hundred years later, Tate Modern is paying homage to the influential artist with a rare comprehensive survey of her life’s work. That the museum is hosting a retrospective for O’Keeffe is reason enough to get excited, but after releasing new details about the exhibition today, artnet News identified more reasons to look forward to the summer show, which hope to “dispel the clichés that persist about the artist,” according to the press release.

artnet News rounded up seven of the survey’s most noteworthy aspects below.

Georgia O'Keeffe, From the River - Pale (1959).Photo: Courtesy of Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Georgia O’Keeffe, From the River – Pale (1959).
Photo: Courtesy of Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

1. Over 100 of O’Keeffe’s works will be on view.
Tate Modern announced that the show will be culling works from six decades of the American artist’s oeuvre. It draws from her earliest abstractions through her latest paintings, revealing aspects of the artist’s trajectory that peer beyond her renowned flower portraits to see a fully-formed view of her career.

2. The survey premieres shortly after the new Tate Modern’s debut.
With the Tate Modern slated to open its towering 10-story building June 17, O’Keeffe’s survey, which premieres eleven days later, will serve as one of the institution’s first major exhibitions following the grand opening.

3. A room will be dedicated to her relationship with artistic contemporary and husband Alfred Stieglitz.
Fans of the legendary art world power couple can rest easy thanks to a room dedicated to Stieglitz’s selected photographs of O’Keeffe. The images, which will include portraits and nudes of the famous painter, are included to highlight the pair’s “reciprocal influence and exchange.”

4. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
This exhibition will be the American artist’s first show in the United Kingdom in twenty years. Given the scale, enormity, and depth of the retrospective, paired with the fact that none of O’Keeffe’s works belong in a public collection in the UK, the show is a rare opportunity for locals to see a comprehensive gathering of her works.

5. Tanya Barson is at the helm.
Tanya Barson, who serves as Tate Modern’s curator of international art, is tasked with curating the selection for the show. Her most recent show at the museum involved Brazilian artist Mira Schendel‘s first international survey.

Georgia O'Keeffe, <em>Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1<em> (1932).<br>Photo: Courtesy of Tate Britain.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1 (1932).
Photo: Courtesy of Tate Britain.

6. Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1 1932 will be in full bloom.
The artist’s record-breaking painting was announced to be one of the retrospective’s major highlights. The work, which was acquired at a Sotheby’s auction in 2014 for $44.4 million, holds the record for the most expensive painting sold at auction by a female artist.

7. It’s timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the artist’s New York debut.
On New Year’s Day in 1916, friend Anita Pollitzer took a batch of O’Keeffe’s charcoal drawings to Stieglitz. Later that year, O’Keeffe would join a group exhibition mounted by Stieglitz at 291 Gallery, marking her official debut as an artist in New York. This retrospective stands as a centenary celebration of O’Keeffe’s artistic career.

Tate Modern’s Georgia O’Keeffe survey opens on July 6 and runs through October 30.


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