The Georgia O’Keefe show at Tate Modern is perhaps an alternative view of the most famous female painter in history. Traditionally we think of her as someone who paints flowers, not just flowers of course, they mean much more than that but flowers never the less. This show balances all her styles and subjects on one plate to give us the fuller view of her oeuvre. The outcome is a clearer view of this fierce warrior painting on the edge, abstracts, skulls, cityscapes, night paintings, it’s all there.
Composition is key to her decision making often perfectly balancing a painting down its centre point with contrasting sides of one object (see Calla Lilies on Red 1928). She stares sharply and then paints that sharpness often bringing things to a literal sharp point. Her colour is always perfectly balanced and reminded me of Caspar David Friedrich slowly shifting down from the full colour to paler and paler versions. She also paints a perfect gradient using the same colour shift, blending the colour as if it had been airbrushed.
My personal favourites were a beautiful nightscape of New York City (New York Night 1928-9), the beautiful Calla Lilies on Red 1928 and Horses Skull on Blue 1931.
It was a hot day in London with my friend Millie. We had a light lunch around Borough Market and found shade under a well placed tree. I took pity on a scrawny cat and fed him some of my gourmet Sausage roll, he seemed grateful. We then walked along the South Bank of the Thames towards our goal of Tate Modern. Received poor service from London Travel Inn Capital Southwark, better service from Swan connected to the Globe Theatre. Having spent two hours going round the exhibition and then re-hydrating in the cafe afterwards we took a peek at the new extension at the back of the Tate on our way out and then walked on until we got to Giraffe on Southbank Centre. The food was adequate without being spectacular but our compliments to the staff who were excellent in challenging conditions.