6 December 2021
Retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), who died at the age of 98, lived through most of the aesthetic adventures of the 20th century. In the 1920s, she was a key member of the small circle of inventors of American modernism, in the 1930s she played an essential role in the quest for a new American identity, before becoming in the 1960s a pioneer of "hard edge" abstract painting. First woman to be exhibited at MoMa, she is now the world's most expensive female artist.
Art history remembers O'Keeffe for her giant flowers, carnal petals, exuberant pistils... However, when these paintings first appeared in the 1920s, they were considered scandalous! The art world saw in them the provocative expression of female desire, erotic images with barely concealed sexual symbols. The explicit and sensuous photographs that her lover, Alfred Stieglitz, had taken and shown of O'Keeffe undoubtedly contributed to these sulfurous interpretations.
In our lecture, we will examine her hypnotic floral swirls, her images of soaring New York skyscrapers and her lunar landscapes of New Mexico. We will follow the destiny not only of the artist, but also of the woman, through her relationship with Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and the American art world of her day.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe
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