28 October 2007

A day at the museum

Blue II, Georgia O'Keefe, 1916

We took the kids to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I used to visit the museum a couple times a year, but hadn't gone since we had kids. There was a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit (runs until early January) that I wanted to see. It was a bit disappointing since there weren't any of her well-known works there, like the flowers and animal skulls, most of the exhibit was of her more obscure works. However, it was a good sampling of the various types of media she used. That's about all I could really say in favor of the exhibit. Kind of scant.

This painting is the one in the show that really made an impression on me. I was pushing my daughter in her stroller and came up around the side of this and it just struck me immediately as a baby in a womb. It really looks like a baby in utero, with a hand cradling its bottom and possibly one holding its head. The narrative next to this painting said critics panned it as being indicative of O'Keefe's gender and that it appeared to be a womb, but more recent "interpretations" had come up with other explanations.

What's wrong with it being a womb? Or a baby?

It's kind of a large painting, so it was striking and intimate. This was painted long before we had all the baby in-utero pictures that we do today. Pretty amazing. If I was pregnant, I think I might even get a poster of this for the baby's room.

Not too far away is the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Walker Arts Center. That runs until January 20, 2008. I don't know if we will go to that one; we are mulling it over.


Vincenzo said...

"...and it just struck me immediately as a baby in a womb."

That was my impression when I first saw it. I love that shade of blue.

Terry Nelson said...

I am so out of the loop - I MUST see both exhibits. Kahlo is one of my favorite painters, though I don't like her poltics and lifestyle - and her husband Diego was a pig.

I had been painting for a number of years and came upon her work and thought - wow! Someone paints like I do. My private work is based upon retablos as her's often was, and like her's, often very graphic and not religious.

I had no idea she is at the Walker.

swissmiss said...

I don't think there are many prominent artists whose politics and lifestyle I admire!

The Strib had an article in it that said mentioned that the Kahlo exhibit is quite extensive and they asked Madonna to loan however many Kahlo paintings she had. But Madonna said she loved them too much to part with them and even travelled with them. Yeah, right.

O'Keefe exhibit was $8
Kahlo exhibit is $15, but think you can go for free on Thursday nights.

swissmiss said...

The shade of blue was almost captivating. I like it too. It's amazing how much it looks like a baby though!!

Terry Nelson said...

Seriously, Madonna is known to travel with her art - she used to cart around a Lampishka she owns. (She also has several houses.) She is known to have a fabulous art collection. (Her brother is an interior designer. Sorry - I know too much, don't I.)

Terry Nelson said...

I think I spelled Lampishka's name wrong.

Anonymous said...

O'Keefe's work is always calm, and serene. The picture does look like a fetus in the womb--that was my first impression. Calm and safe in the hands of God. It's lovely.