“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.”
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.