L: Georgia O’Keeffe, Autumn Leaves, 1924. Oil on canvas. Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio: Museum Purchase, Howald Fund II, 1981.006. R: Georgia O’Keeffe, Starlight Night, Lake George, 1922. Oil on canvas. Private Collection. Images © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George
Organized by the Hyde Collection, in association with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George will examine the extraordinary body of work created by the artist of and at Lake George, New York. From 1918 until the early 1930s, Georgia O’Keeffe lived for part of the year at Alfred Stieglitz’s 36-acre family property situated just north of Lake George Village, along the western shore of this 30-mile-long glacial lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Despite the fact that the Lake George work was critical to Georgia O’Keeffe’s development of her signature style of modernism and abstraction, this is the first major exhibition and publication devoted to this period in her career.
During this highly productive decade, O’Keeffe created more than two hundred paintings on canvas and paper in addition to sketches and pastels, making the Lake George years among the most prolific and transformative of her seven-decade career. The exhibition will include 55 of these works, drawn from public and private collections.
On the shores of Lake George, the “Queen of American Lakes,” O’Keeffe found a place to concentrate on her work without the distractions of her life in New York City. Working in her humble studio, nicknamed the “shanty,” she reveled in the discovery of new subjects that included landscapes, flowers, fruit, trees, leaves, and architecture. Lake George served as a rural retreat for the artist, providing the basic material for her art, which in turn evoked the spirit of place that was essential to O’Keeffe’s modern approach to the natural world.
The exhibition will explore the full range of work she produced—including magnified botanical compositions inspired by the flowers and vegetables that she grew in her garden; telescopic views of a single leaf or pairs of overlapping leaves that are based on the variety of trees that grew around Lake George; architectural subjects, including abstracted paintings of the weathered barns and buildings on the Stieglitz property; and panoramic landscape views of the lake and surrounding hills that influenced her subsequent work in New Mexico.
This exhibition is organized by The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York,in association with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The foundation sponsor is the Henry Luce Foundation.
The exhibition catalogue was supported by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
The presentation at the de Young is made possible by:
Ednah Root Foundation
San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums
Additional support is provided by the Ross Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums.