georgia o’keefe

I always felt as though I walked the edge of a knife, afraid to fall off. So what? What if you do fall? I would rather be doing something I really wanted to do.”
Georgia O’Keefe

To the Vancouver Art Gallery yesterday to see the O’Keefe exhibit. Anyone hoping to see her flowers would be disappointed as there are only a few of the smaller ones. But what is there of her early landscapes, some middle year pieces and some late, are brilliant – in particular, an early desert landscape, her use of paint/light.

The word I take away from the exhibit is courage. Looking at her pieces, I read a truth that is rare. Something we as writers, painters, dancers, dream of. And whether or not one actually admires O’Keefe, I think it is clear, after viewing her work in person, why she is iconic.

Oh yes, the photos of O’Keefe by Steiglitz and Webb are equally compelling. Somehow they open her and yet she isn’t yielding, she holds her ground.

One thought on “georgia o’keefe

  1. Georgia O’Keefe inspires awe and admiration in me, even though I don’t particularly like her paintings. Her spareness and the raw quality of her work are a little off-putting, but one can’t help but be compelled by the intensity of her vision.

    Kirkegaard said, “Purity of heart is to will one thing.” This sums up Georgia O’Keefe’s work and life, IMO. I’ve seen some biographical programs on PBS about her life, work, relationships, and was rivetted by her determination and though she appears to be severe–even down to her tightly pulled-back hair–she has a delightful sense of irony and humour.

    Whenever I’ve seen her on film, talking directly to the camera or walking through the minimalist landscapes she so like to explore, I’ve always felt that I’d like to meet her. There’s something intimidating about her, but the twinkle in her eye also suggests a quality that would make her an enjoyable and challenging companion.

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