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O'Keeffe and Moore: San Diego Museum of Art Exhibition



My latest obsession is the O’Keeffe and Moore exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art. This is such a brilliantly curated pairing of artists. O'Keeffe has long been one of my favorite painters, but seeing her pieces along side the work of Henry Moore, brought out some of the more rigid, and technical aspects of her work. Moore, a modernist sculptor with a unique vision and modality, used natural forms as a basis for his art-making process, which he then used as a pathway to dazzling abstractions. O'Keefe's work, although all it's own, can be typified in similar language.

If not for Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe would likely be the most famous woman painter. Iconic work as well as rarer paintings are on display at this exhibition, and seeing these rarer pieces had me re-thinking every work in progress sitting in my studio.

Especially notable were the recreations of Henry Moore and Georgia O’Keeffe’s studios. It was like a set designer’s fantasy project, a glimpse into a different time and place, when and where all the work on display was engendered. The studios themselves struck me as practically offering guidance and reminded me so much of my own home studio. This prompted feelings of closeness to these strangers. Bones, shells, graphite pencils, clay, pastels, wood and wicker, natural colors and textures, paint pigments and notebooks full of sketches. If the art making process has ever intrigued you, this is a wonderful way to see into the interior lives of two of the best.

I brought my daughter, Mila, to this exhibition and I was so delighted that I did. After viewing the art, there is a fabulous film viewing and workshop in which people of all ages can read poems, view photographs, hold feathers, bones, and rocks, and create a naturalist inspired piece of their own. Mila could have stayed in that area all day. It was a great way to let all of the new information and inspiration sink in.

I more than recommend getting into a gallery as soon as possible this summer. This show is open through August 27th and will then travel to the Albuquerque Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I'll be posting these reviews more often as I travel to different museums and gallery shows. And please do comment with any suggestions!