Sunday, February 10, 2008
On Friday we entered the halls of the High Museum to see the show the AJC termed "Golden Openings." We all know that Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings of flowers are often also (inadvertently?) depictions of the sensuality of the vagina. Her paintings to me are Lawrencian, celebrating sexuality, nature and the interplay of both. Flowers, after all, are sex organs. When Dar and I stayed in the house D. H. Lawrence visited in Santa Fe, the Inn of the Tourquoise Bear, as it is now called, the landscapes we saw were pure Georgia O'Keeffe. Again, as I've quoted Oscar Wilde before, New Mexico is proof that nature imitates art, as the undulating land from Santa Fe to Taos reveals. The show supposedly displays how O'Keeffe emerged from the artistic harem of Alfred Stieglitz.
The first few rooms give us photographs and paintings of women most of us have never heard of: Pamela Colman Smith, Katharine Nash Rhoades, Georgia Engelhard, Gertrude Käsebier, and Anne Brigman.
That O'Keeffe towers over them and goes far beyond the influence of Stieglitz becomes obvious in the rooms that follow. Even this limited display of her work gives us her genius and greatness of spirit.
Pantheism, Eros, and Thanatos swirl in her flowers and in all of her paintings.
The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe
Red Canna, 1923
University of Arizona Art Museum
What Joy in Life