Friday, 23 September 2016

Georgia O'Keeffe at the Tate

I joined some friends for the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition at Tate Modern.  It's interesting to see a life retrospective an artist that you don't know a lot about, while having clear fixed images of their work in your mind, because invariably you are surprised to discover a whole host of work, themes and styles that you hadn't expected, as well as the opportunity to see how someone grows and changes.

In many ways I tended to find that she drew from her immediate surroundings far more than I'd expected, and in the same way that I can imagine doing if I lived in the heart of nature.  So I was most drawn to her landscapes, and to the way she simply responded by trying to capture the light, and towards the end of the exhibition, by the blend of realism and abstraction that found it's way into her work - I often find myself drawn to the abstraction that nature provides, rather than the pure abstraction from an artist's mind.

These are a few of my sketchbook notes ...
I always think of the colours when I think of Georgia O'Keeffe, but actually the composition is stunning - this one especially (Nature's Forms - Gaspe, 1932), and the lines, and the rolling hills.  All like what I've been drawing / thinking about lately.
She's interested in the same things as me - in capturing the light and contrast and colour, and the way mountains, dunes and desert can look so abstract, you don't need to do more to it (Black Place No IV). I get cross when things are just abstract and called 'abstraction', but I love it when things are abstract and the title shows you where it came from.  Like her plane series (Sky Above Clouds IV).  Again, with the Pelvis Bones, I feel like she did something I would do!