Indepth Arts News: |
"Views of the City: 1910–1949"
2000-11-14 until 2001-03-14
Georgia O'Keefe Museum
Santa Fe, NM,
Views of the City: 1910–1949
brings together a selection of OKeeffes important New York City
pictures with approximately 55 photographs, works on paper and
paintings of the city by 28 of her contemporaries from more than 35
major private and public collections. The exhibition demonstrates the
ways in which OKeeffe and a number of other artists working in New
York responded to and interpreted the transformation of the
environment into a modern city of skyscrapers.
Museum director George G. King said, This exhibition provides the
viewer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Georgia OKeeffe,
her colleagues, and their varied interpretations of this countrys most
modern of cities.
By 1910, New York City had become a beacon for artists from all over
America and the world who were drawn to its vitality and the power of its
modern vision. The rapidly evolving city became the subject matter for
the artists living and working there. Artists who wanted to connect with
the modernity of a new era interpreted in both representational and
abstract ways the dramatic views of New York City, including the soaring
skyscrapers, expansive bridges, industrial riverscapes, and emerging
skyline. These interpretations could be both heroic and celebratory, as
seen in OKeeffes paintings of skyscrapers and Joseph Stellas
paintings of the Brooklyn Bridge, or they could be formal and
matter-of-fact, as seen in the flat, sharply defined, precisionist
paintings of city architecture by Charles Sheeler and Niles Spencer.
Of the exhibit, curator Barbara Buhler Lynes said, This is a very
exciting exhibition in that it brings together so many first-rate pictures
of the city by OKeeffe and her contemporaries.
Views of the City focuses on OKeeffes unique interpretation of the
buildings, bridges, and river views of New York and on those of other
important artists working in the city during this period. OKeeffes
paintings of skyscrapers—including A Street (1926), The Shelton with
Sunspots (1926), and New York Street with Moon (1928)—are seen
along with paintings on the same subject by others, including Samuel
Halperts The Flatiron Building (1919) and Charles Sheelers
Skyscrapers (1922), as well as photographs by Berenice Abbott
Murray Hill Hotel, Park Avenue at 41st Street, (1935) and Margaret
Bourke-White, Chrysler Building, (c. 1930).
OKeeffes Brooklyn Bridge (1949) is complemented by the bridge
interpretations of painters Elsie Driggs,( Queensborough Bridge, 1927),
and Joseph Stella, (American Landscape, 1929), and photographers
Paul Grotz, Untitled [Brooklyn Bridge] (1929), and Walker Evans,
(Brooklyn Bridge, 1929).
OKeeffes East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel (1928) is
exhibited with river views by painter Stuart Davis (A River View, 1913),
and photographer Alvin Landgon Coburn (Brooklyn Bridge, New York ,
a. 1912), among others.
Not all the works in this exhibition are visual interpretations. Some are
evocations of the citys kinetic energy, rhythms, and power. This is
particularly true of OKeeffes New York—Night (1926), Max Webers
New York Department Store (1915), John Marins Lower Manhattan
(1920), and Charles Demuths Incense of a New Church (1921).
Organized by Museum Curator and noted OKeeffe scholar Barbara
Buhler Lynes, this is the third in a series of exhibitions at the Georgia
OKeeffe Museum whose purpose is to heighten viewer awareness of
the nature of the modernist movement in America and OKeeffes place
Abstraction White, 1927
Oil on Canvas - 34 x 14 in.
Collection: Private Foundation, 1997, extended loan, Georgia OKeeffe Museum