Enormous flowers, luscious colors, landscapes, feminine forms and still lifes – the art of Georgia O’Keeffe can be seen at a new exhibit open May 26 through September 3 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art brings together sculptures, murals, photographs, paintings, and more by Georgia O’Keeffe and 20 contemporary artists working in similar themes. Building on works from the museum’s collection and borrowing from public and private collections, the exhibition features 36 O’Keeffe works spanning her career. Works include “Radiator Building—Night, New York” (1927), “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” (1932), “Flying Backbone” (1944), and a 1972 painting “The Beyond,” which inspired the exhibition’s title and was one of the last works she completed unassisted as her eyesight began to fail. “Abstraction” (modeled 1946, cast ca. 1979-1980), one of the few sculptures O’Keeffe created, will be on view, as well as several of her sketchbooks for the first time.
While Crystal Bridges galleries are free, the cost to view this special exhibit is $10 or free for members and youth ages 18 and younger.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), is often called the mother of American Modernism. She has created some of the most enduring art of 20th century. The same elements that make O’Keeffe’s works recognizable have inspired artists for generations. The exhibition introduces viewers to the following contemporary artists who evoke, investigate, and expand upon O’Keeffe’s artistic legacy:
Negar Ahkami, Milano Chow, Cynthia Daignault, Sharona Eliassaf, Monica Kim Garza, Loie Hollowell, Pearl C. Hsiung, Louise Jones, Kim Keever, Molly Larkey, Caroline Larsen, Mark Lewis, Wardell Milan, Jennifer Packer, Dylan Gebbia-Richards, Andy Robert, Matthew Ronay, Tschabalala Self, Anna Valdez, and Britny Wainwright.
Throughout the galleries, O’Keeffe’s pioneering works will be interspersed among the contemporary works in six themed sections: Flowers, Finding the Figure, The Intangible Thing, Still Lifes, Cities & Deserts, and The Beyond.
O’Keeffe may be best known for her flower paintings, which she began painting in 1924 as a response to modern architecture and the Machine Age. The flower section includes works by artists responding to subjects ranging from police violence to the contemporary economy.
The Cities and Deserts section contains two of O’Keeffe’s great subjects: the skyscrapers of New York City and the rolling deserts of New Mexico. In this grouping, contemporary artists demonstrate a similar interest in cityscapes and landscapes to convey complex meaning and feeling. Like O’Keeffe, Tulsa-based artist Mark Lewis focuses on daily life within the fabric of the city. Lewis’s graphite and paper collage streetscape, Peoria Ave. No. 7, (2011) made on-location, captures the energy of his hometown.
Eleven of the artists from The Beyond will be leading talks and workshops at the museum, giving visitors a rare chance to hear directly from them for a deeper understanding of the ongoing relevance of O’Keeffe’s work and connections between our collective history and our present.
For more information and a calendar of events, visit CrystalBridges.org.