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Thursday
Aug112011

Georgia O'Keefe for free: Wednesday afternoon at the Art Institute

Popped over the the Art Institute on my lunch break.  It was Free Wednesday and I had taken it into my head that my eyes needed to see the Georgia O'Keefe collection.  Free Wednesday or not, I still had to queue up for a ticket.  The line was out the door and down the street, but it moved pretty quickly.

I came upon her massive "Sky Above Clouds IV" quite by accident.  It's at the top of a flight of stairs that I had hoped led to the O'Keefe gallery.  It did not.  Still, it's the journey, isn't it? 

The card revealed that she finished this in 1965, at the age of 77.  It was inspired by airplane trips she took in the 50s.  She worked on it in her garage.  Though it was scheduled to be shown in San Francisco, they couldn't fit it through the museum doors.  It's resided in Chicago ever since. 

The bottom photo makes it look smaller than it is.  The sense of distance is illusory: it's taken from a landing and the painting is actually across the way on the opposite wall.   

 

After going down some steps and up others, and wandering temporarily into the new Modern Wing and admiring its sunlit Griffin Court, I eventually located the O'Keefe gallery.  Here's "Black Cross, New Mexico", painted during her first summer in the Southwest in 1929.      

And "Yellow Hickory Leaves With Daisy" (1928).

Here we have "Peru--Macchu Picchu, Morning Light" from 1957 on the left, center bottom is "Spring" (1923/24), center top "Road--Mesa with Mist" (1961), on the right "The White Place In Sun" (1943).   

 "Cow's Skull With Calico Roses", 1931.  Makes me think of our family reunion in Taos, New Mexico in the summer of 1991.

Here's "Abiquiu Sand Hills and Mesa" (1945). 

I don't have anything deep to say about these paintings, really, only that it makes me happy to live in a town where I can stroll over and spend an enjoyable lunch hour looking at them.

 

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