With a major retrospective on Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), the Fondation Beyeler is dedicating the first exhibition of 2022 to one of the most significant artists of the 20th century and an outstanding figure in modern American art. From O’Keeffe’s earliest abstractions to her iconic depictions of flowers and landscapes of the American Southwest, the retrospective will offer an in-depth survey of the artist’s work including rarely seen paintings from public and private collections. The exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler will examine Georgia O’Keeffe’s particular way of looking at her surroundings and translating them into new and hitherto unseen images of reality. “One rarely takes the time to really see a flower. I have painted it big enough so that others would see what I would see.” This early quote from 1926 has become a common thread in O’Keeffe’s art and life. The exhibition in Basel aims to focus the attention on the topicality of O’Keeffe’s bold and radical way of looking. Spanning more than six decades, “Georgia O’Keeffe” will be the artist’s first major retrospective in Basel and the first comprehensive overview of O’Keeffe’s oeuvre in Switzerland for almost 20 years.
The exhibition is organized by the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in partnership with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe.
From 1918, Georgia O’Keeffe spent decisive years of her artistic development in New York City, at the heart of the then fashionable and highly influential small circle around Alfred Stieglitz.
O’Keeffe owed her early recognition and subsequent career to the support provided by Stieglitz, who later became her husband, and to her connection over many decades to the New York art scene. Yet in terms of her artistic output, urban life left only very few discernible traces.
O’Keeffe grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in Wisconsin, in the American Midwest. The decisive steps in her artistic development took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, and later in Canyon, Texas, where she taught art from 1916 to 1918.
Even after moving to New York, her life as an artist remained punctuated by regular stays in different places. During many years, she thus spent summers at the Stieglitz family’s holiday home on Lake George in the State of New York, which provided the inspiration for much of the work she produced during this time.
In 1929, O’Keeffe for the first time spent several weeks in New Mexico in the American Southwest, where she would henceforth return every year, always alone, and where she would settle for good following Stieglitz’ death.
Digital Guided Tour (in German)
Exhibition curator Theodora Vischer takes you on a digital tour of the "Georgia O'Keeffe" rooms. The retrospective at the Fondation Beyeler is a rare opportunity for European audiences to discover O'Keeffe's work, which is almost unrepresented in collections outside the United States. The tour is in cooperation with Museums-PASS-Musées.
Musical tour of the «Georgia O’Keeffe» retrospective
Music journalist Dominic Dillier has followed the musical traces in Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work, and has explored the interface between music and painting in her work. The result is a musical journey across the regions and stations of her biography. The playlist is available on the Fondation Beyeler’s website or via QR code in the museum. To listen to the playlist, you need your own Spotify access, a web-enabled mobile phone and a headset.
From her earliest abstractions of the 1910s, via her iconic flower paintings, to her innovative landscapes of the American Southwest and her seminal late work, this richly illustrated catalogue offers a comprehensive overview of the artist’s multifaceted oeuvre spanning some six decades.
Each work of art is an original which is part of what makes it so special. The disadvantage, however, is that the work cannot be in several places at once. As a way of allowing us to look at paintings outside as well as inside the museum, the Fondation Beyeler creates high-quality fine art prints of selected works.
Silk Foulard Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe’s visual worlds
Discover our meticulously crafted foulards inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe’s visual worlds. The silk print reproduces the colour in all their subtle nuances. The top-quality crêpe georgette feels soft and as light as air against the skin—an ideal artistic accessory for any occasion.