Brooklyn Museum Exhibit “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern”

Visit the Brooklyn Museum for this fascinating exhibition on view now through July 23, 2017, at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona—including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O’Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.

In addition to selected paintings and items of clothing, the exhibition presents photographs of O’Keeffe and her homes by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, Todd Webb, and others. It also includes works that entered the Brooklyn collection following O’Keeffe’s first-ever museum exhibition—held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927.

Her 1926 oil Black Pansy and Forget-Me-Nots is one of those works. It was borrowed for the exhibition from a private collector, and at the conclusion of the show, O’Keeffe encouraged the lender to donate it to the Brooklyn Museum. It is one of fourteen O’Keeffes in the collection; six of the works were bequeathed to the Museum by the artist herself.

Included in the exhibition is 2 Yellow Leaves (Yellow Leaves), a 1928 oil by O’Keeffe, later bestowed to the museum for its collection of American Art.

The exhibition is organized in sections that run from her early years, when O’Keeffe crafted a signature style of dress that dispensed with ornamentation; to her years in New York, in the 1920s and 1930s, when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress; and to her later years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colors of the Southwestern landscape. The final section explores the enormous role photography played in the artist’s reinvention of herself in the Southwest, when a younger generation of photographers visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

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