Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern offers a new look at the iconic American artist’s powerful ownership of her identity as an artist and a woman. This major exhibition examines the modernist persona that Georgia O’Keeffe crafted for herself through her art, her dress, and her progressive, independent lifestyle. It will mark the first time O’Keeffe’s understated yet remarkable wardrobe will be presented in dialogue with key paintings, photographs, jewelry, accessories, and ephemera. Opening on March 3, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern represents a homecoming of sorts, as the artist had her first solo museum exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, in 1927.
On view through July 23, 2017, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong project celebrating a decade of feminist thinking at the Brooklyn Museum.
In addition to a number of O’Keeffe’s key paintings and never-before-exhibited selections from her wardrobe, the exhibition will also feature portraits of her by such luminary photographers as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Todd Webb, Cecil Beaton, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz, and others. These images, along with the garments and artworks on view, testify to the ways that O’Keeffe learned to use photographic sittings as a way to construct her persona, framing her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a style icon.
“Fifteen years ago I learned that when Georgia O’Keeffe died and left her two homes to her estate, her closets were filled with her belongings. The O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe now owns the homes and their contents, but no one had yet studied the sixty years of dresses, coats, suits, casual wear, and accessories she left behind. I took on that task. The Georgia O’Keeffe who emerged from my research and is presented in this exhibition was an artist not only in her studio but also in her homemaking and self-fashioning,” says guest curator, Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University.
“This exhibition reveals O’Keeffe’s commitment to core principles associated with modernism-minimalism, seriality, simplification-not only in her art, but also
in her distinctive style of dress,” says Lisa Small, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum, who serves as the exhibition’s in-house coordinator.
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern opens with an intro-duction that demonstrates how O’Keeffe began to craft her signature clothing style as a high school student, dispensing with the bows and frills worn by young women at the time. The exhibition continues in four parts. The first is devoted to New York in the 1920s and ’30s, when she lived with Alfred Stieglitz and made many of her own clothes. It also examines Stieglitz’s multi-year, serial portrait project, which ultimately helped her to become one of the most photographed American artists in history and contributed to her understanding of photography’s power to shape her public image.
Her years in New Mexico comprise the second section, in which the desert landscape-surrounded by color in the yellows, pinks, and reds of rocks and cliffs, and the blue sky-influenced her painting and dress palette. A small third section explores the influence and importance of Asian aesthetics in her personal style. The final section displays images made after Steiglitz’s era by photographers who came to visit her in the Southwest.
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is a ticketed exhibition. The cost is $20 for adults, $12 for students with valid I.D. and adults 62 and over; $12 for Corporate Members; and $6 for students, ages 12-19. The exhibition is free for Individual Members at the $75 level and above. On Target First Saturdays and Thursday Nights, admission to the exhibition will cost $12. Tickets, which also include general Museum admission, will be available at www.brooklynmuseum.org and at the admissions desk in the Museum’s lobby. Advance tickets go on sale January 23, 2017.
Following the Brooklyn Museum, the exhibition will go to the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, August 25-November 19, 2017, and to the Peabody Essex Museum, December 16, 2017-April 1, 2018. A companion book of the same title, written by curator Wanda M. Corn, will accompany the exhibition.
About A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum
The exhibition is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art through ten diverse exhibitions and an extensive calendar of related public programs. A Year of Yes recognizes feminism as a driving force for progressive change and takes the transformative contributions of feminist art during the last half-century as its starting point. The Museum-wide series imagines next steps, expanding feminist thinking from its roots in the struggle for gender parity to embrace broader social-justice issues of tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. A Year of Yes began in October 2016 and continues through early 2018.
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong series of ten exhibitions celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Leadership support is provided by Elizabeth A. Sackler, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Calvin Klein Family Foundation, Mary Jo and Ted Shen, and an anonymous donor. Generous support is also provided by Annette Blum, the Taylor Foundation, the Antonia and Vladimer Kulaev Cultural Heritage Fund, Beth Dozoretz, The Cowles Charitable Trust, and Almine Rech Gallery.
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern is organized by guest curator Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History, Stanford University, and coordinated by Lisa Small, Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Brooklyn Museum.
Lead sponsorship for this exhibition is provided by the Calvin Klein Family Foundation. Generous support is also provided by Anne Klein, the Helene Zucker Seeman Memorial Exhibition Fund, Almine Rech Gallery, and Alturas Foundation. The accompanying book is supported by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art and the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation and is published by the Brooklyn Museum in association with DelMonico Books Prestel.
We are grateful to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, whose collaborative participation made this exhibition possible.
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