Press Room / GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: CIRCLING AROUND ABSTRACTION

July 24, 2007

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: CIRCLING AROUND ABSTRACTION

MEDIA CONTACTS
TAMMY PLESHEK, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, (612) 870-3171; TPLESHEK@ARTSMIA.ORG
LYNETTE NYMAN, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, (612) 870-3173; LNYMAN@ARTSMIA.ORG
ANNE-MARIE WAGENER, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, (612) 870-3280; AWAGENER@ARTSMIA.ORG

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Georgia O’Keeffe:
Circling Around Abstraction

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
October 7, 2007—January 6, 2008

Minneapolis, July 23, 2007—Masterworks by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe will be presented this fall at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The groundbreaking exhibition, “Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction” examines for the first time the artist’s distinctive use of the circular motif. O’Keeffe’s unique approach created highly energetic compositions that boldly distinguish her work from that of her Cubist-influenced peers. The forty-four works on display, including drawings, watercolors, paintings, pastels, and sculptures dating from 1915 to the 1970s, track the evolution of O’Keeffe’s use of the circle. This exhibition will be on view at the MIA from October 7, 2007, through January 6, 2008.

The title of this exhibition, “Circling Around Abstraction,” refers to the genre of forms that O’Keeffe often painted or sculpted and to which she returned repeatedly during the course of her artistic career: the circle, the oval, and the hypnotic swirl of the spiral. Such forms can be found in her earliest charcoal abstractions of the 1910s and in many of her innovative oil paintings that followed, such as the “Red Flower” (1919). In the 1920s, working in the more traditional genre of still life, O’Keeffe focused on the rounded forms of fruits and vegetables set within or upon baskets and plates inside cropped and flattened compositions, including “Green Apple on Black Plate” (1922).

In subsequent years, O’Keeffe expanded her range of subjects drawn from the natural world while continuing to explore new ways of depicting them. This exhibition features a variety of these paintings, many of which have never before been exhibited together. “A Piece of Wood” (1942), for example, is one of three works included in this exhibition in which O’Keeffe magnified the hypnotic whirls of a knot in wood. In other paintings, she turned her attention to the swirling forms of the clamshell, hidden pools nestled in the woods, and looping strands of fishing line, including “Fishhook From Hawaii – No. 1” (1939).

In the 1940s, O’Keeffe produced her haunting series of pelvis paintings. This exhibition presents a comprehensive overview of these works produced in the final decades of her life. Featured among them is “Pelvis IV” (1944) and “Pelvis with the Moon – New Mexico” (1943). Also on view are circle-motif abstractions from the 1960s, such as “Green, Yellow, and Orange” (1960); several works on paper, including “Untitled (Abstraction Blue Circle and Line)” (1976/77); and two versions of one of her little-known abstraction sculptures, “Abstraction” (1946).

This exhibition was organized by the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. National sponsorship has been generously provided by Mrs. Shelby Cullom Davis. Presentation at the MIA is sponsored by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., and the Friends of the Institute. Additional support is provided by Piper Jaffray. Local media sponsorship is provided by the Star Tribune.

Ticket Information
“Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction” is a special, ticketed exhibition. General admission is $8. To purchase tickets, call (612) 870-3000.

Public Programs
See Public Programs information sheet.

Exhibition Catalogue
“Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction” is accompanied by a fully illustrated hardcover catalogue with essays by Jonathan Stuhlman, curator of American Art at the Mint Museum of Art, and Barbara Buhler Lynes, the Emily Fisher Landau Director of Research Center and Curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Lynes is a scholar of American Modernism and an expert on O’Keeffe. The catalogue is co-published by the Norton Museum of Art and Hudson Hills Press; it is available for purchase in the MIA Museum Shop for $35.

Tour Venues
The tour venues are the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida (February 10–May 6, 2007), the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico (May 25–September 9, 2007), and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (October 7, 2007–January 6, 2008.)

About the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), home to one of the finest encyclopedic art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. Internationally renowned for its extensive collection of Chinese and Japanese art, other highlights of the permanent collection include European masterworks by Rembrandt, Poussin, and van Gogh; modern and contemporary paintings and sculpture by Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Stella, and Close; as well as internationally significant collections of decorative arts, Modernist design, photographs, prints and drawings, and Asian, African, and Native American art. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 A.M.-5 P.M.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 A.M.-5 P.M.; Thursday, 10 A.M.-9 P.M.; Closed Monday. For more information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org.
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