It seems that London is in the throes of a new cultural shift, we have entered the era of retrospect. It would take less than five minutes to find someone reminiscing and saying ‘it’s not like the old days,’ and, for some part, that is entirely true. It is, however, the newfangled techy days that are delivering the most ecclectic of old days to us.
The National Portrait Gallery is staging the new Lucian Freud collection and The Royal Academy will be hosting David Hockney’s newest works, two events worthy of any critic’s choice column, but, there’s more.
Just in case anyone got the idea that The Tate Modern was going to be sitting on its laurels and basking in the attention and glory of The Switch House, grand expansion and Ai Wei Wei’s turbine hall masterpiece, it has come back with a blinder.
In July, Tate Modern has opened a major retrospective of American modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
6 July – 30 October 2016
Tate Modern, The Eyal Ofer Galleries
Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 and until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday
For public information call +44 (0)20 7887 8888, visit tate.org.uk, follow @tate #Tate2016
O’Keeffe’s work has not been a guest on British soil for 20 years and, given that the artist is marking the centenery of her 1916 New York debut, it’s an astonishing achievement and show of respect to the Tate Modern and its highly acclaimed curator, Tanya Barson.
Hailed as one of the “founding fathers” of American modernism, O’Keeffe fought and forged a path that led through the six decades of her career and made her an eminent and important pioneer for feminist artists.
With no works by O’Keeffe in UK public collections, the exhibition will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for audiences outside of America to view her oeuvre in such depth. Oh, and, while you’re there, don’t miss the Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction ($44.4 million).
These works investigate the relationship of form to landscape, music, colour and composition, and reveal O’Keeffe’s developing understanding of synaesthesia.
A word from Hannah Johnston, Assistant Curator
Curating the O’Keeffe exhibition has been a rewarding experience, but one that’s long overdue. This will be only the second major exhibition of O’Keeffe’s work in the UK with the last show taking place over 20 years ago, so this exhibition really offers a unique opportunity for a new generation of art lovers to see her work. The co-operation from institutions and collections all over the world has been outstanding and enabled us to bring together over 100 major paintings, many of which have never been shown in this country before such as Grey Lines with Black, Blue and Yellow 1923. A key aim for us with this show was to position O’Keeffe as a complex and multi-faceted artist, and open up audiences to discover the full range of her output – she was more than a simple painter of flowers. The exhibition dispels the clichés that persist about O’Keeffe and her painting. The timing is incredibly significant as 2016 marks a century since O’Keeffe’s debut at 291 Gallery in New York.