“It’s my private mountain,” Georgia O’Keeffe said. “It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.”
If you’re in New Mexico and look up from the Chama River Valley, you will see O’Keefe’s beloved Pedernal Mountain. O’Keefe featured Pedernal in a number of her paintings and it is there where her ashes were scattered after her death in March of 1986.
O’Keeffe painted Pedernal, our header image, in 1945. Today is the last day that this special painting will be on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Georgia O’Keeffe – featuring more than 100 pieces of this artist’s incredible work – has been running since April. When we were there this week, the place was still buzzing, with tickets released by the hour and visitors staying in line to move painting to painting.
The show has been a collaboration between the AGO, Tate Modern in London and Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna. Georgia O’Keeffe walks us through the phases of her life – personal, romantic and artistic.
Music – Pink and Blue No. 1, 1918
Apple Family 2. 1920
Oriental Poppies. 1922
‘A flower is relatively small. Everyone has many associations with a flower—the idea of flowers. You put out your hand to touch the flower—lean forward to smell it—maybe touch it with your lips almost without thinking—or give it to someone to please them. Still—in a way—nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small— we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.. ..’So I said to myself—I’ll paint what I see—what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it—I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.’
‘Well—I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower—and I don’t.’
The Eggplant. 1924
East River from the 30th story of the Shelton Hotel. 1928
Rancho Church New Mexico. 1930-31
Horse’s skill and pink rose. 1931
“Someone came to the kitchen door. As I went to answer the door, I stuck a pink rose in the eye socket of a horse’s skull. And when I came back the rose looked pretty fine, so I thought I would just go with that.”
Jimson Weed White Flower No. 1. 1932
From the Faraway, Nearby. 1937
Pelvis 1. 1944
‘When I started painting the pelvis bones,’ Georgia O’Keeffe said. ‘I was most interested in the holes in the bones – what I saw through them – particularly the blue from holding them up in the sun against the sky… They were most beautiful against the Blue – that Blue that will always be there as it is now after all man’s destruction is finished.’
Blue B. 1959
Sky with Flat White Cloud. 1962
Written by Elizabeth Newton