Brief thoughts on O’Keeffe


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Some months ago I visited the Georgia O’Keefke exhibition at the Tate Modern.
Hearing the exhibition is soon to end has prompted me to put some thoughts down.

Unaware of O’Keeffe’s work, I had been prompted to visit by friends and having not researched her much at all beforehand and so the works in the exhibition were refreshingly new to me.
I thought the work from her early years and how this developed into abstract paintings influenced by music and flowers was amazing. I was also fascinated by her rooftop paintings of the New York city scape. Although I totally enjoyed her work for the remainder of the show as I snaked my way through the thirteen crowded rooms, at the end I did something I’d not done before at an exhibition. Before leaving I felt I needed to leave with her earlier works strongest on my mind and so I worked my way back through the footfall to rooms 2, 3 and 4 to revisit the period of her artistic journey that I appreciated the most.
I’ve added a couple of my favourites to Pinterest.

A selection from some of O’Keeffe’s many quotes that made me think the most.
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”
“I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could.”
“I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individually. I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint.”
“I have many things in my head that are not what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down.”
“I simply paint what I see.”


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