Georgia O’Keeffe: Pioneering Abstractions, Before the Desert

Georgia O’Keeffe: Pioneering Abstractions, Before the Desert

Georgia O’Keeffe is about to enjoy quite the cultural moment.  In a high/low play of historic proportions, this month will see the opening of an exhibition of the late artist’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art and, just a couple of days later, the premiere of a Lifetime cable network biography that traces her artistic development and tumultuous personal life.

There are two Georgia O’Keeffes; the story of the first begins in 1915, when she was a young art teacher in rural South Carolina and produced her first abstract drawings, which were also among the first fully abstract images by any American artist.  O’Keeffe leaped into abstraction with a group of charcoal drawings that were among the most radical creations produced in the United States at that time.  Three years later she had her first encounter with the photographer and dealer Alfred Stieglitz, who set her up in New York and initiated a long personal, professional and mutually promotional partnership.

Georgia O’Keeffe: The Early Abstractions

Georgia O’Keeffe and the Camera: The Art of Identity

Georgia O’Keeffe: Pioneering Abstractions, Before the Desert

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Over Time: The Sad Mystery of Death

Over Time: The Sad Mystery of Death

Over Time is an amazing short movie created by the young French filmmakers Oury Atlan, Thibaut Berland and Damien Ferrié.  The film is an obvious homage to Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, and presents a heart-rending tale of a sad mystery of death.  Common lore holds that the first stage of grief is always denial, but that’s the only possibility if you’re not even able to conceive of death (such as the case of a young child).  It’s as if you were a puppet, and your own creator died.  You could just valiantly try to bring him back to life, the same way he once did with you.

And so it is in Over Time, where the small fabric puppets find their creator lying on his bench, dead.  Our sad little creatures don’t understand that he died, for they had never been confronted with such a concept.  They devote all of their subsequent efforts to incorporate Henson’s body into their own daily routine, as they slowly come to terms with his death.

Over Time: The Sad Mystery of Death

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