SAN ANTONIO, TX.-
Opening Friday, January 21, at the McNay Art Museum
, Georgia OKeeffe and American Modernism presents a wide-ranging view of the American Modernist movement through 65 diverse artworks from the McNays permanent collection, the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and rare loans from across the country.
At this time of great transformation in our countrys history, social norms and boundaries were challenged, and conventions on class, gender, religion, and race were increasingly blurred and redefined, said Liz Paris, McNay Collections Manager and co-curator of the exhibition. American artists were inspired by the diversity of immigrant cultures, and in many cases, their own experiences as first-generation American citizens.
Known as the mother of American Modernism, Georgia OKeeffe emerged as a prominent artist in the movement through paintings and watercolors that applied contrasting styles of abstraction and realism to scenes of everyday life. Like her contemporaries Arthur Dove, Betty Tseng-Ecke, and Helen Torr, OKeeffe blurred the natural and human-made, rendering landscapes, flowers, animal skulls, and rocks with the same precision as her images of houses, barns, and skyscrapersat times reducing subject matter to fundamental shapes or focusing on individual elements with a wash of vibrant color.
Georgia OKeeffe and American Modernism combines key loans from the Blanton Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Antonio Museum of Art; the San Diego Museum of Art; Alice Simkins; The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund; and the Whitney Museum of American Art with works from the McNay collection. OKeeffe is the thread through the exhibition that evokes the spirit of American Modernism in its diverse subject matter and unique style.
American Modernists found unity in the disarray of this transformational time in history, said Lyle W. Williams, McNay Curator of Prints and Drawings, Curator of Modern Art. The diversity of the work they produced reflected this chaotic, rapidly evolving period.
On view through May 8, 2022, the exhibition includes a dynamic selection of women artists, LGBTQ+ artists, artists of color, and Texas artists not typically championed as part of the art historical canon. The exhibition layout focuses on nature and abstraction in three Frost galleries, and includes a painting by artist Ida OKeeffe, Georgias younger sister. The exhibition continues in the Lawson Print Gallery with a broader and more inclusive cultural view of American Modernism through groupings of portraits and still lifes.
A free virtual presentation by Sue Canterbury will be held Tuesday, February 8 at 6 p.m. to explore the life and art of Ida OKeeffe, including recently rediscovered artworks. Canterbury is the Pauline Gill Sullivan Curator of American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, and curator of the 2018 exhibition Ida OKeeffe: Escaping Georgias Shadow.
Georgia OKeeffe and American Modernism is organized for the McNay Art Museum by Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Curator of Modern Art; and Liz Paris, Collections Manager; with René Paul Barilleaux, Head of Curatorial Affairs; and Lauren Thompson, Assistant Curator.
Major funding is provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Foundation of 1992 and the McCombs Foundation. Additional support is provided by Frost Bank, Joanie and JR Hurd, Alice Simkins, and The Tobin Endowment.