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Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place

June 11-September 12, 2004


Georgia O'Keeffe was instantly drawn to New Mexico's unusual and starkly beautiful landscape from the moment she first saw it in 1917. In an interview many years later she recalled: "From then on, I was always trying to get back there and in 1929 I finally made it." Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place, June 11-September 12, 2004 is the first exhibition that features O'Keeffe's celebrated New Mexico landscapes. Because this unique and fascinating exhibition includes paintings that have long been in private collections, it provides an unusual opportunity to view works by O'Keeffe that have seldom been available to the public.

The exhibition documents O'Keeffe's extraordinary ability to capture the contours, colors, and textures of the land that fascinated her while remaining true to her life-long interest in and commitment to exploring issues of abstraction. According to Museum Curator Barbara Buhler Lynes, "A Sense of Place is the first exhibition to explore the meaning and significance of O'Keeffe's New Mexico landscape paintings, and it provides new and important information about the relationship between these paintings and the specific sites that inspired them."

In addition to displaying 50 paintings that O'Keeffe depicted from 1929 to the early 1950s, the exhibition presents color photographs of 20 of the actual sites that inspired them. From the time O'Keeffe began painting in New Mexico, her landscapes have often been mistaken for imagined forms, but they are entirely based on what she was looking at and thus, the exhibition provides a new perspective from which to understand the relationship between the sources of her work and the works themselves. An accompanying exhibition catalogue, published by Princeton University Press includes color reproductions of all works and photographs in the exhibition and offers essays by Barbara Buhler Lynes, curator of the exhibition, who has written extensively on O'Keeffe and her work, and noted authors, Lesley Poling-Kempes, and Frederick W. Turner. These essays discuss O'Keeffe's paintings and their relationship to the places that inspired her, the geology of the region from which her landscape paintings derive, and the ways in which her aloofness from the Santa Fe art community enhanced her presence as a force within it.

After being on view in Santa Fe, the exhibition, Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place, travels first to the Columbus Art Museum (October 1, 2004-January 16, 2005), and then to the Delaware Art Museum (February 17-May 15, 2005), where it will commemorate the opening of that museum's new building.

In conjunction with the exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum will offer an array of events to the public. This summer, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and Western Interiors and Design, a new magazine devoted to design, architecture, and art in the American West, will present a lecture series titled An American West. Three lectures exploring different aspects of contemporary western culture will include topics such as, New Mexico's rich architectural heritage in contrast to modem perspectives; the legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe in Santa Fe; and the evolution of Western culture, art, and architecture. The series will feature architects, designers, writers, and others, all of whom will conduct lively discussions and will give insight into their own work in the region. The series of lectures will be held June 28, July 5 and July 12, 2004 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in downtown Santa Fe. For information call 505.946.1039 or the Lensic box office 505.988.1234.


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Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Resource Library.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 9/10/10, 12/10/10

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