On Sunday 11th September Chloe and I took our mum to see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate Modern for her birthday. We knew she wanted to not only see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition but also the new Switch House building since it opened at the Tate Modern in June so it was the perfect way to spend her birthday.
Second to the Tate St. Ives, the Tate Modern is my favourite gallery for both its installations and architecture. Even though I’ve visited countless times, it never gets boring. I could happily spend hours in the Tate, especially now there’s the new Switch House to explore, as well as the Boiler House. Plus, my Grandad was one of the engineers who helped oversee the building of the original power station so it holds a special place in my heart.
With over 100 incredible pieces on display, from her famous flower paintings and skull studies to landscapes of New Mexico and less well known works, there was so much to see in each room of the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition.
I’ve admired Georgia O’Keeffe’s work since studying her in art lessons at school so it was fantastic to see her abstract paintings up close and made me made me really appreciate her eye for colour and composition. Having lived to the ripe old age of 98, she was an incredibly talented, remarkable woman and I enjoyed finding out more about her as a person as well as an artist.
Some critics have attributed feminine qualities to her flower paintings, often heavily hinting at sexual content but it was an interpretation which she disliked. Frustrated with this limited view, she commented, ‘when people read erotic symbols into my paintings, they’re really talking about their own affairs’, which made me like her and her paintings even more.
After looking around the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition we explored the Switch House, an extraordinary new twisting, pyramid-like building dedicated to live art, film and installations. We climbed ten storeys to the top where there’s a roof terrace with spectacular 360-degree views of the Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and London skyline. It was a perfectly clear sunny day so you could see for miles.
The Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition runs until 30th October and I’d definitely recommend visiting if you have the chance.