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Innovative exhibition celebrates the work and legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe, Small Purple Hills, 1934, Oil on panel, 16 × 19 3/4 in., Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2006.11 © Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas Photo: Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

NEW BRITAIN, CONN.- From February 22 to June 2, 2019, the New Britain Museum of American Art presents The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art, an innovative exhibition that celebrates the work and legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986). The Beyond brings together over three dozen iconic works by the artist, including floral paintings, cityscapes, and desert scenes, as the centerpiece of a unique exploration that highlights her continued force as a touchstone for contemporary art. Drawn from important public and private collections across the country, this exhibition presents paintings and sculpture that span O’Keeffe’s long and prolific career alongside works by twenty emerging artists that evoke and expand upon her artistic language. The NBMAA is the final and only northeast venue for The Beyond, which is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, and features seven additional works by O’Keeffe that are exclusive to the NBMAA’s presentation.

Recognized as one of the preeminent American painters of the twentieth century, Georgia O’Keeffe pioneered revolutionary ways of visually interpreting the world through her early embrace of abstraction and effusive use of color, and the hallmarks of her work can be seen anew through their continued influence on artists working today. The exhibition does not make one-to-one comparisons between O’Keeffe and the contemporary artists included here. Rather, the work of these artists is intended to expand on conversations and subjects O’Keeffe presented in her work and her life and has been grouped by themes, including Flowers; Cities and Deserts; Still Lifes; The Intangible Thing; Finding the Figure; and The Beyond.

The Beyond features celebrated works by O’Keeffe, including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), Radiator Building—Night, New York, and Flying Backbone (Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Co-owned by Fisk University, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel (New Britain Museum of American Art), and examples created later in her life such as The Beyond (Georgia O'Keeffe Museum). Unique to the NBMAA’s presentation are important works drawn from museums in the Northeast, including Newark Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. These masterworks are being displayed in the context of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photographs by renowned artists such as Louise Jones, Negar Ahkami, Loie Hollowell, and Anna Valdez, whose art offer new ways of understanding and appreciating O’Keeffe’s resounding legacy.

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