News | Major Georgia O’Keefe, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington-Smith exhibition to tour Australia in 2016-2017

O’Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith: Making Modernism

Georgia O’Keeffe Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory 1938 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Burnett Foundation © Georgia ’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory 1938 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Burnett Foundation © Georgia ’Keeffe Museum

The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Heide Museum of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery have partnered with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe. O’Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith: Making Modernism. The exhibition will open at Heide Museum of Modern Art on 12th October 2016 until 17th February 2017, after which it will travel to the Queensland Art Gallery from 11 March – 11 June 2017 and the Art Gallery of New South Wales between 1 July – 1 October 2017.

The exhibition will include the art of Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the most significant American painters of the twentieth century, alongside modernist masterpieces by Australian artists Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington-Smith. The paintings of these three artists represent distinct modernist visions that express the identity and culture of their respective nations. The landscape and a sense of place were a tremendous source of inspiration for each of them. While O’Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith developed highly individualised styles, the conceptual underpinnings of their work, their shared themes and their approaches to the portrayal of modern life underscore the broader story of how modernism evolved around the world. The exhibition has been curated by Lesley Harding (Heide), Denise Mimmochi (AGNSW), and Jason Smith (initiating curator) with Cody Hartley and Carolyn Kastner (Georgia O’Keeffe Museum). It will draw together approximately thirty works by each artist across the breadth of their careers, with major paintings from Preston and Cossington Smith on loan from public and private collections across Australia.

Cody Hartley, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, said the Museum is thrilled to partner with the Art Gallery of NSW, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Queensland Art Gallery to bring a major body of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work to Australia for the first time. “We are proud to be supporting this exhibition, offering exceptional works from the Museum’s collection to facilitate this innovative study of global modernism via the parallels of O’Keeffe’s work with her Australian peers.”

Dr Michael Brand, director, Art Gallery of NSW said the multi-venue exhibition will not only introduce Australian audiences to one of America’s most innovative painters, but also bring fresh perspectives to the work of two of Australia’s best known and beloved artists. “Preston and Cossington Smith, like O’Keeffe in America, have long been recognised for their central role in the development of modern art in Australia. The three artists are connected by their choice of subject, their experimentation with light, colour and form and their commitment to presenting alternative ways of seeing the world,” Dr Brand said.

Kirsty Grant, director and CEO, Heide Museum of Modern Art said the exhibition, “In considering the similarities and distinctions in their art we aim to bring deeper understanding about modernism’s dispersal and reinvention as it developed beyond the metropolitan wellspring of Europe,” Grant said

Making Modernism is generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Gordon Darling Foundation.

About the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum | The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum was established in 1997 to preserve and advance the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe. The Museum is dedicated to developing appreciation of O’Keeffe’s remarkable oeuvre both nationally and internationally through exhibitions that provide new scholarship on her practice.

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