Monday, December 28, 2015

Georgia O'Keefe and American Modernism in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico

O’Keeffe in Process
New Mexico Museum of Art
Through January 17, 2016

Featuring 36 O'Keeffe oil paintings, 15 works on paper, and supporting materials from the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, and private collections, this exhibition tells the story of the working technique of this twentieth-century New Mexico Master.

Artworks on view will span the artist's career from early student portraits of family members created in 1905, to paintings executed during stays at Lake George in the late teens and first half of the twenties, to her iconic depictions of flowers, bones, and New Mexico landscapes, to her discovery of the view from the sky.

In a rare opportunity to see some of these artworks together in one space, the exhibition brings related paintings from the two museum's collections into conversation.  Preliminary sketches and photographs hung alongside finished works will reveal both the steps in O'Keeffe's creative process and her technical, art-making technique. Viewers will come to understand what makes an O'Keeffe artwork recognizable as an O'Keeffe.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Chama River, Ghost Ranch, New Mexico (Blue River), 1937, oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Gift of the Georgia O'Keeffe Estate, 1987 (1987.312.1)

An American Modernism
New Mexico Museum of Art
Through February 21, 2016

An American Modernism joins the exhibition O’Keeffe in Process, both at the New Mexico Museum of Art, in the “Fall of Modernism” cultural collaboration with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Drawn primarily from the museum’s rich collection of Modernist art, An American Modernism explores the quest by early twentieth-century artists to find a distinctive American voice and to define art for the modern age.

The international cultural movement known as Modernism resulted in radical new approaches to art making. This selection of more than fifty works from the museum’s collection explores how Modernists in the United States struggled to define modern art in terms of the American experience. Concentrating on the 1920s and 1930s, the selection of paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs illustrate the complexities of establishing a recognizable American style in the early years of the twentieth century. While some believed it should be defined by the precision and dynamism of the machine age, others rejected industrialization and commercialism for the perceived authenticity of nature and rural life. The tensions between these motives and the struggle to find a distinctively American visual vocabulary is demonstrated in works by Andrew Dasburg, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Cady Wells, Edward Weston, and many other modern masters.

Louis Lozowick, Untitled, 1933, lithograph, 12 3/4 x 8 1/8 in. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art. Bequest of Vivian Sloan Fiske, 1978 (4376.23G) Photo by Blair Clark © Louis Lozowick Estate

From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks from the Vilcek Foundation Collection 
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Through January 10, 2016  

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum reveals its latest exhibition From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection, an exhibition organized by Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Oklahoma in cooperation with The Vilcek Foundation New York,

 With more than 60 works, the exhibition represents one of the country’s finest collections of American modernism from the period 1910’s to the Post-war era.

Organized by the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum, Catherine Whitney, in cooperation with The Vilcek Foundation, New York City, this is the first time many of these noted Modernist works have been accessible to the public. Jan and Marica Vilcek, both immigrants to the United States from former Czechoslovakia, became interested in American modernism due in part to Marica’s art history career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Jan Vilcek’s interest in collecting, and a shared desire to give back to the country that gave
them so much as new immigrants. 

The Vilcek Collection reunites three of four important still lifes by Stuart Davis—painted in 1922. The painter was responsible for the Vilcek’s initial foray into American modernism; when in 1990, they purchased a work by Davis entitled Tree (1921) on a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Vilceks credit this acquisition with their “firm, yet not always easy,” commitment to Modernism.

The exhibition, which comprises paintings, sculptures and works-on-paper divides the collection into four parts. The first section, “Nature” includes the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and Max Weber — the first generation of abstract artists to translate the transcendent qualities of nature into metaphors of color, geometry and line.

The second section of the exhibition, “Cubism” explores the aesthetics and philosophical constructs of Cubism as applied to American subjects. Highlights include the aforementioned Stuart Davis still lifes: Still Life with Dial, 

Still Life, Brown,  

and Still Life, Red, which the artist described as “rigorously...American.”

“Town and Country” the exhibition’s third section, examines modernist views of structure, industrialization and architecture. 

 Rockefeller Center (1939) by painter Ralston Crawford evidences the construction of Rockefeller Center in New York City. 

Finally “The Southwest” recognizes the importance of this region as the inspiration for many of the artworks in the collection. Nearly one third of the Vilcek collection’s paintings were painted in New Mexico. In the period after World War I, many New York artists spent time in New Mexico experiencing the landscape, investigating spiritualism, and taking up residence at the Mabel Dodge Luhan art and writer’s colony in Taos.

From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks from the Vilcek Foundation Collection
captures the unique perspectives of the American modernism movement and provides insight into a group of artists defining American abstraction.

The Vilcek Collection is one of the finest collections of American modernism ever gathered. It explores the emergence of America’s first truly homegrown, avant-garde art movement. We are pleased to feature this important exhibition that explores a generation of abstract artists who truly made the 20th century an American century,” said Cody Hartley, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. 

See more images here 

229 East Marcy Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

John Marin 
 The Tree, New Mexico
Watercolor on paper
15 x 17 7⁄8 inches
Signed and dated: lower right

John Marin was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Weehawken. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, studying with Thomas Anshutz, then studied at the Art Students League in New York, and from 1905 to 1909, studied in Europe. In Paris, he associated with the Fauvist circle.

He had a long association in New York City with Alfred Stieglitz, who exhibited his work, and in the 1930s, he developed interest in the human figure and marine subjects and oil painting.

In Taos, which he visited in 1929 and 1930, he was the guest of Mabel Dodge Luhan, and was unique because he was using a drybrush watercolor technique and vividly demonstrated how watercolor could capture the New Mexico landscape. Because he was so respected nationally, his use of watercolor in New Mexico set a precedent for others painting there. 

Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and The West 
Harwood Museum of Art (Taos)

The Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico
May 22 to September 11, 2016
The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, New Mexico
October 29, 2016 to January 22, 2017
Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, New York
March 10 to May 28, 2017

Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and The West is a traveling exhibition organized by the Harwood Museum of Art that focuses on the life and times of one of the early 20th century’s most significant cultural figures: Mabel Dodge Luhan (1879-1962). Luhan brought modern art to Taos, New Mexico, putting Taos on the national and international map of the avant-garde and creating a “Paris West” in the American Southwest. From 1918-1947, Luhan influenced legions of European and American “movers and shakers” to find Northern New Mexico’s physical and cultural landscapes—new aesthetic, social, and cultural perspectives on modern life. 

The exhibition will include 150 works of art and ephemera produced by the visual, literary, and performance artists who came to Taos at Mabel's behest. The works of Andrew Dasburg, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Ansel Adams, Agnes Pelton, and Georgia O'Keeffe will be displayed in conversation with the works of Pueblo and Hispano artists who inspired their modernist sensibilities.

Co-curated by a dynamic scholarly team, MaLin Wilson-Powell and Dr. Lois Rudnick, this project offers a transformative and multi-disciplinary contribution to the evolution of American Modernism as it expanded westward. 

The accompanying publication, Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns & the West was designed by David Skolkin and published by the Museum of New Mexico Press.
This publication is a beautiful full-color, 9 x 12 inch, hardbound, 219-page book that further illustrates the story of Mabel Dodge Luhan, her impact on American Modernism, and the complex issues of Anglo patronage of Native American and Hispano art and culture. The publication includes an introduction by Dr. Wanda Corn and essays by Dr. Lois Rudnick, MaLin Wilson-Powell, and Carmella Padilla.

Marsden Hartley. An Abstract Arrangement of Indian Symbols. c. 1914–15. Oil on canvas. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University;

Georgia O'Keeffe. Grey Cross with Blue, 1929. Oil on canvas. Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, NM;