Georgia O’keeffe

December 22, 2007 at 11:08 Leave a comment

Today’s adventure was brought to us by the vancouver art gallery. because I have never played nice with others and insist on deciding everything we do on this vacation.

Until today I was only vaguely aware of O’Keeffe’s work, I knew that she was an american abstract painter and that she had painted a few flowers that looked like vaginas (because all flower paintings do). But walking through the gallery and seeing her work all together, and with more context, I started wondering why she hadn’t grabbed my interest before.

There is something amazing about seeing a painting in person that you had admired in print, it almost feels more intimate. . . Her technique is amazing, I had no idea of just how amazing until I was able to get up close and personal with the canvases an see each brush stroke clearly.

seeing a larger collection of her work all together also helped me to better understand the work I was already familiar with, I always thought that the Bold colours and contrasts in her work reflected a boldness and confidence in the artist, but as I looked closer at the collection, I noticed, that while the colours are bold and the contrasts often stark, there is an undeniable bleakness that comes through as well.

I also didn’t know that she worked in other mediums.

Her photography revealed more of the same bleakness of the paintings, but also a wicked and sarcastic sense of humor.

She also sculpted apparently, I wasn’t as impressed with the sculpture, to me it read as a mere exercise or experiment of positive and negative space, and I guess that description is one that could be used to describe almost any sculpture, which is why my not being able to describe it any other way disappointed me.

Also currently showing at the vancouver art gallery, is a collection by London film maker Mark Lewis. His exhibit was outrageously funny and left me with a huge smile on my face. two of his works really stand out in my mind.

one was a 4 minute silent film that started focused on a large tree, then zoomed out to focus on the building behind it, very slowly the shot moves in and starts to focus on one of the windows. and the whole time you’re thinking that this is either going to be very creepy or have some horribly tired statement about nature vs civilization or something. but instead there is a naked woman. . . I guess that could count as creepy, but it’s done in such a way that makes it funny.

the other is called ‘the pitch’ and features the artist standing in a train station talking about Extras and the amazing work they do as people walk around him. it isn’t until about half way through, when he started talking about making a movie of all extras called ‘extra extra’ that I started to realize that the goings on were a little too good to be true, and the people in the station are all hired extras.

Of coarse the Emily Carr exhibit on the fourth floor was visited, but I’ve seen it before so it wasn’t as exciting. . .

There was also an original Andy Warhol there . . . I am not really a huge fan of “Pop art” but it was kind of cool (as with the Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe exhibits) to stand in front of it and think that this thing that you are standing a foot away from was created by that artist’s hands. . . but I only have thoughts like that because I am a huge dork.


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