Making Modernism: O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith

Art, Galleries
Making Modernism 1 (© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)
© Georgia O’Keeffe MuseumGeorgia O'Keeffe 'Blue Line', 1919
Making Modernism 2 (© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)
© Georgia O’Keeffe MuseumGeorgia O'Keeffe 'Petunia No. 2', 1924
Making Modernism 2 (© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum)
© Georgia O’Keeffe MuseumGeorgia O'Keeffe 'Ram's Head, Blue Morning Glory', 1938
Making Modernism 4 (© Margaret Rose Preston Estate)
© Margaret Rose Preston EstateMargaret Preston 'The Monstera deliciosa', 1934
Making Modernism 6
Grace Cossington Smith 'Landscape at Pentecost', 1929

This exhibition explores the parallels between early Australian and American modernism through the work of three artists

This collaboration between Melbourne's Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum represents the first major body of work by the American modernist to be presented in Australia, alongside works by her Antipodean peers Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith. All three women were pioneers of modernism, presenting bold new visions for art in their (very different) aesthetics.

Around 30 works by each artist have been drawn from the collections of the presenting institutions, as well as the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, among others.

A recent focus exhibition by Tate Modern re-ignited the debate around the erotic nature of O'Keeffe's paintings of flowers; while the academic and critical consensus has nipped the idea in the bud (and the artist denied it across her career), you can see why people might have speculated.

Check out our hitlist of the best art to see in Sydney this month.