Beyond the Legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe

General / People / Places / August 27, 2018

Georgia O’Keeffe’s influence on contemporary artists of the 20th and 21st centuries is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art brings together 35 of O’Keeffe’s works. They form the centerpiece of an exploration of her continued force as a touchstone for contemporary art. Twenty later artists are also represented.

“The work in the show ranges from her entire career from her 20’s to her 70’s, so you get a great overview of her work,” says Linda Dougherty, NCMA’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art. “There’s the Radiator Building that she painted, and then the Empire State Building by someone else.”

Viewers will encounter paintings and sculpture by O’Keeffe alongside works by emerging artists who expand upon her artistic language. “There’s a thematic grouping,” Dougherty says. “Flowers are her magnifying and monumental images, but there are landscapes, cityscapes, the human body, still-lifes and abstractions.

In essence, The Beyond introduces audiences to a new generation of American artists, providing a fresh look at O’Keeffe through the lens of contemporary art.

Long after her death in 1986, O’Keeffe enjoys universal appeal as one of modernism’s most popular artists. People often focus on her flowers and landscapes, and are surprised by her figurative and abstract work.

“In the 1920s she was an innovator in abstraction and color – her flower paintings were a reaction to the industrial age and skyscrapers,” she says. “She wanted people to pay attention to the natural world.”

She spent long stretches of time away from New York and in New Mexico, beginning in 1929. She moved there permanently after the death of her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and painted flowers, desert landscapes and animal skulls.

The exhibit opens on Oct. 13 and runs through Jan. 20.

For more, go here.

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Michael Welton

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