Art lovers rejoice, Georgia O’Keeffe has come to Canada, or at least to Toronto. From April 23rd to July 30th 2017, the Art Gallery of Ontario is setting The world ablaze with Georgia O’Keeffe. It is the first major retrospective of this influential artist to appear in Canada. The show consists of 80 works done over six decades.
While O’Keeffe is mostly known for her florals and skulls, she worked in a variety of styles including abstraction, and painted New York skyscrapers and New Mexico landscapes. She has been recognized as the Mother of American modernism.
As for the flowers, “I hate flowers, I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move.” Her abstract flowers are often thought of as being female genitalia but she denied this. This erotic train of thought was encouraged however by the nude and sensuous photographs that her husband Alfred Stieglitz took and exhibited of her.
In 1946 she became the first female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. “Men put me down as the best woman artist… I think I am one of the best painters.” In 2014 her painting “Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1,” painted in 1932 was sold at auction for $44.4 million, and holds the record for the most expensive painting by a female artist sold at auction.