To see Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at Tate Modern yesterday. Illuminating show exploring all her work and revealing that there is so much more to it than the brilliant, but over familiar, flowers. A big show too – the thirteen rooms reflecting O’Keeffe’s endlessly evolving creative mind. The pictures and the text sought to dispel the dominant reading of eroticism in her work, her claim being that it reflects things that are the viewer’s affairs, not her’s. The work embodies her synaesthesia and chromothesia, not her sensuality. Small pictures, e.g. Eggplants, recall some photographs, maybe Weston’s peppers, and she uses cropping and the techniques of photography in isolating elements in a scene.
Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz – Taos, portraits of GO’K, cityscapes (NY), buildings and ‘Equivalents’ – were an unexpected bonus. Also pictures and books by Ansel Adams (a print of Moonrise, Hernandez) and Paul Strand.
My favourite O’Keeffe pictures: Two Figs, 1923; East River No 3, 1926; Lake George Barns, 1926; Line and Curve, 1927; Shell No 2, 1928; Purple Hills, 1935; and Sky with Flat White Cloud, 1962.