Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol: Flowers of Distinction, organized by Museum curator Barbara Buhler Lynes, brings together approximately 40 depictions of flowers by two of America's most celebrated and popular artists. The exhibition opens on Friday, May 13, 2005, and will remain on view through Sunday, January 8, 2006.
(PRWEB) April 16, 2005 -- Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol: Flowers of
Distinction, organized by Museum curator Barbara Buhler Lynes, brings together
approximately 40 depictions of flowers by two of America's most celebrated and
popular artists. The exhibition opens on Friday, May 13, 2005, and will remain
on view through Sunday, January 8, 2006.
"It's unusual to see this many flower pieces by each artist, and to see this number of paintings together and in relationship with one another is unique," says Lynes. "Flowers of Distinction demonstrates how O'Keeffe's and Warhol's paintings of the same subject, which represent very different moments in the history of American modernism, allowed them to both position and distinguish themselves within an age-old tradition of flower painting."
O'Keeffe emerged as a significant artist in the 1910s, Warhol in the 1960s. O'Keeffe is known as an early American Modernist whose work, along with that of Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and John Marin, was championed and promoted by photographer Alfred Stieglitz, America's first advocate of modern art.
Andy Warhol is one of the leading figures of the American pop art movement. His sources derive from popular culture, and for the most part he appropriated subjects such as soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. That he addressed flowers at all seems something of an aberration in his work. As he organized and manipulated this subject, he sometimes used the silk-screen process to create numerous images of the same flower that vary dramatically in size. At another time he produced a series of prints, each of a different flower. He emphasized process and repetition and thus challenged long-held ideas about the role of the artist.
The Warhol images, which are among his least-known and least-studied works, have been loaned by The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Sonnabend Gallery in New York. They range in date from the 1960s, when Warhol first emerged as a painter, to 1986, and represent the surprisingly various and often whimsical ways in which Warhol dealt with this subject. They include Do It Yourself (Flowers) of 1962; examples from his best-known series of silk-screen paintings; Flowers, of 1964 and 1965; hand-colored prints of the 1970s; and several lyrical and lively silk-screen Flowers of 1986.
Flowers are among O'Keeffe's best-known works. Those in the exhibition are from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum's permanent collection, with the exception of four that have been loaned from private collections. Included are the never-before-seen and earliest-known flower painting by O'Keeffe, a watercolor of 1903, and her decidedly provocative abstract flower pastel of the late 1910s, Blue Flower. Also included are numerous examples of her depictions of this subject in oil from the 1920s and 1930s, the two decades in which she explored this theme most frequently, moving easily between representation and abstraction.
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and will be available at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Shop. The contributors to the catalogue are Barbara Buhler Lynes, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Curator and the Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center; Heather Hole, Assistant Curator, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; Neil Printz, editor of the Andy Warhol catalogue raisonné; and John Smith, Assistant Director for Collections, Exhibitions, and Research at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.