O’Keeffe, Dove, the Clark

September 11th, 2009

It's already been several weeks since our wild ride down the back bone of the Taconic Mountains to Williamstown MA, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute to see: Circles of Influence, O'Keeffe and Dove.

It was wonderful to see old friends by O'Keeffe such as
The Lawrence Tree painted in 1929. 

When the Wadsworth Atheneum acquired the painting in 1981, O’Keeffe commented that, “The painting was done so it could be hung with any end up.” The painting is presently hung in keeping with the artist’s strong early preference, which she stated on numerous occasions, instructing that the tree should “stand on its head.”
The painting is in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum

At the Clark they had hung it with the trunk on top. Very fun.
The show addressed the interaction between the two artists. Very interesting to see how their work was correlated and how they respectfully fed off of each other's imagery. Initially O'Keeffe, the younger of the two, responded to Dove's development of abstraction, but as her work rapidly matured Dove's imagery obviously begins to respond to hers.
All very interesting.

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One Response to “O’Keeffe, Dove, the Clark”

  1. Liza Myers says:

    O'Keeffe painted this in 1929 in plein air near Taos, NM. It would have been glorious weather up in the ponderosa pine forest above San Cristobal. She was staying with Mabel Dodge Luhan, the Dodge heiress, in the lap of luxury. I can't help but think about it having been just before the stock market crashed, a time of great optimism, artistic growth and wild decadence. According to her journals O'Keeffe was annoyed with the social life and just wanted to paint.

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