New York

Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918, oil on canvas, 35 x 29 1/8". © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

New York

“Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction”

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
September 17, 2009–January 17, 2010

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
217 Johnson Street
May 28–September 12, 2010

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
February 6–May 9, 2010

Curated by Barbara Haskell, Barbara Buhler Lynes, Bruce Robertson, and Elizabeth Hutton Tur

For the past few decades, American art’s first lady has looked a bit kitschy to insiders, her artistic mode as pseudo-authentic as “southwestern” cuisine. Then there is her troublesome status as a celebrity, thanks in part to Alfred Stieglitz’s racy portraits (some of which appear in this exhibition), as well as to her subject matter. But maybe we were wrong. By foregrounding her abstractions—130 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sculptures—the case can be made for a radicality underlying her popularity, a rigor beneath the flowers. And seen through the eyes of today’s younger artists, O’Keeffe’s brand of American art looks interesting again, specific and local amid globalism’s anyspacewhatever, late, late modernism.