American Legend: From Calder to O’Keeffe

Oscar Bluemner, A Situation in Yellow, 1933. Oil on canvas, 36 × 50 1/2 in.
Oscar Bluemner, A Situation in Yellow, 1933. Oil on canvas, 36 × 50 1/2 in.
Alexander Calder, Object with Red Discs, 1931. Painted steel rod, wire, wood, and sheet aluminum, 88 1/2 × 33 × 47 1/2 in
Alexander Calder, Object with Red Discs, 1931. Painted steel rod, wire, wood, and sheet aluminum, 88 1/2 × 33 × 47 1/2 in
Joseph Cornell, Celestial Navigation, c. 1958. Box construction with wood, glasses, marbles, plaster head, painted cork ball, metal rods, nails, paper collage, tempera, and painted glass
Joseph Cornell, Celestial Navigation, c. 1958. Box construction with wood, glasses, marbles, plaster head, painted cork ball, metal rods, nails, paper collage, tempera, and painted glass

 

There is “American Legend: From Calder to O’Keeffe” is held on now Whitney Museum. When I got on fifth floor, “Flower Abstraction” by Georgia O’Keeffe caught my eyes. I always have something for soft color drawing, but this time, there was more than that. Even though i didn’t see the title, i could have noticed it was about flower. At the same time, it looked like the other things. At first time, I could see the stems and weirdly It seems like very delicate petals. and then it changed into clouds and human faces facing each other. I remembered the similar moment when i looked something very familiar with me in a very short distance, it looked different. If I did see even my face in such a close-up way, it would change into something strange. While I am working on self-portraits which are made with photocopier, I feel exactly same weird thing. It should be my lip, but it looks like a desert, and it should be my nose but looks like a rock. The use of color is more dramatic to me. I definitely see the rainbow colors in it. The place of navy color is amazing. That’s a stroke of genius. If it were not there, i wouldn’t stand in front of this drawing such a long time. The other O’Keeffe’s drawing is “Summer.” The reason i chose this one is that the shape of clouds. When i saw this one first, i was just curious about the positioning of all those subjects. Why is the animal’s skull located in the sky? Why did she put those flowers between the skull and desert? and then my eyes noticed the clouds, maybe winds. If i wanted to express the circulations of nature,  this way would be one of the ways to show the cycle of life. The bones remind me the death and flowers for living lives. Everything on the earth transforms from death to birth and vice versa. I only said there two words “Wow!” and “Aha” and kept saying those two words. Besides O’Keeffe, there are lots of pieces you don’t want to miss.

I’ve been Whitney Museum 2 weeks ago, but it is the ongoing exhibition.

I strongly recommend you to visit there. Photographs below by the student.

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Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York
Telephone: 212.570.3600

Hours
Monday, Tuesday: closed
Wednesday, Thursday and Weekend: 11 am to 6 pm
Friday: 1 pm to 9 pm

$16 for students

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Published by

Hyunju Seo

Student at Parsons

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