Georgia O’Keeffe City Lights

Having visited the mammoth retrospective at Tate Modern of Georgia O’Keeffe, I could wax lyrical about her flower paintings and argue whether or not she was exploring the female form a la Freud: 

Or, I could describe the majestic beauty of the New Mexican landscapes she knew and understood: 

But I won’t, as there was one room that I thought was incredible- New York Cityscapes. Filled with her paintings alongside the photographs of her husband and their contemporaries. 

The most beautiful work in this room was New York with Moon from 1925: 

This was breathtaking. Your eye is immediately drawn to the sky and moon and at first it appears abstract until you realise that you are looking up at the tower skyscrapers surrounding you. The electric light glowing against the building and the foreboding stoplight draws your eye down the canvas.  The warm palette adds to a welcoming feel of this exciting city.

Along with works such as Ritz Tower, Night (1928) O’Keeffe was well in her way to making the painting of the city seem so easy.

But O’Keeffe didn’t just spend her time looking up. She also looked into the city and the painting ‘East River from the 30th floor of The Shelton’ is a stunning industrial landscape. All you can say is wow! 

The above study was my absolute favourite, however. The monochromatic distillation of buildings, factories and river just work for me in so many ways. I’d only you could ‘borrow’ these works! 

Loved this exhibition, but be warned you need plenty of stamina to get round 13 rooms! 

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