Bones to pick: Obscure items in the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
September 26, 2020 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography
The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 25, 2020
..."I think, in particular, of the way she uses the pelvis bone," (Museum Fellow Victoria) Plotek says. "It becomes a device she uses to frame her compositions. One of the centerpieces of her New Mexico paintings is a pelvis painting where the pelvis is sort of framing this oval of blue sky. It would be impossible for anyone to know what the motif was without looking at the label. But it becomes a recurring motif for her."
Take, for example, Pelvis Series, Red with Yellow (1945). It looks like an abstraction: a yellow ovoid form surrounded by a nebulous, organic shape rendered in shades of pale white and ochre. Once it registers that the pale-and-ochre shape is a pelvic bone, you no longer view the painting as an abstraction but as a painting of a representational form.
"That painting, where O'Keeffe abstracts the bone, is the subject of a very famous photograph by Tony Vaccaro," ...
|©Tony Vaccaro: Georgia O'Keeffe with painting, New Mexico, 1960|