Georgia O’Keeffe

D.A.P./ Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. Jul. 2021. 316p. ed. by Marta Ruiz del Árbol. ISBN 9788417173494. $65. FINE ARTS
Ruiz del Árbol, of Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, curated this attractive catalogue for O’Keeffe’s first retrospective in Spain (the 91 paintings will travel to three European museums). Six scholarly essays (by curators from the exhibition venues, experts from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in New Mexico, and art writer Catherine Millet) reveal details of O’Keeffe’s life, the influence of her husband (photographer Alfred Stieglitz), and the artist friends who inspired and promoted her groundbreaking paintings. This book addresses controversial interpretations of O’Keeffe’s larger-than-life floral paintings, contextualizes the male-dominated intellectual world around her, and describes her fastidious painting process. The book’s design is striking, with wide side margins that let the eye focus on the images and the essays’ many footnotes.
VERDICT For those who can’t travel to Madrid, Paris, or Basel to see the O’Keeffe retrospective, this beautifully designed volume will satisfy. Also for readers who want to learn about O’Keeffe’s technique, studio practice, mentors, and the art world around her; soak in her particular response to nature; or merely spend time with the soothing qualities of her oeuvre.
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