28th September 16
This major Retrospective of North American Artist Georgia O’Keeffe is a rare chance to see a wonderful exhibition of the work of a major female artist of the 20th century.
The subject matter of her work is, on the surface, carrying on the tradition of representational, realist, oil painting that portrays the world around us (still lives, landscapes and buildings) But what makes her work unique is that she transforms these common subjects, though a high level of technical skill and highly original compositions and colours, to create her own personal, highly original expressive vision.
By enlarging the scale, making the flowers take up most of the composition of the picture space, and heightening the colours, O’Keeffe renders them sculptural, monumental and captivating. The masterly level of technical skill in her use of paint, especially the blending and detailing, alongside the beautifully bold and harmonious colours, make her work an absolute treat for the eyes, and uplifting. In all her work she shows us very familiar subjects in a dynamically original way.
It can be easy to forget that up until relatively recent times most humans lived intimately in and around nature. But the world we live in has changed so radically that most of us live in man-made industrial, technological, often polluted urban environments. This the act of portraying, celebrating, and recognising the integral nature of the natural world, our intimate connection to it, and its’ vital role in our health and survival, could also be interpreted as an indirect social or political statement on the part of the Artist.
For all these reasons Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most important Fine Art Painters of the 20th Century. Whether you are an art student or not, don’t miss this exhibition!
Jonathan Parkhouse, DLD College London
Co-ordinator BTEC Art-Foundation/Art Submissions Co-ordinator