Monday 28 November 2011


A dull, grey English day and we are on top of the ridge. It is very cold and extremely windy. We are looking down at the house, hoping we will not be blown away

We first enter the Mary Magdalene church, designed by Capability Brown

we then visit the ice house

down the ridge and the next stop is the lake with its two islands

by the lake is the grotto, made out of tufa and linestone. The stone statue is Sabrina, goddess of the River Severn

away from the ridge there is no wind at all as you can see from the reflections

well, just a few ripples

it all feels very calm

and very wintry

a folly in the distance

now we will cross one of the two bridges that connect one of the islands to the mainland

and have a rest inside the Island Pavilion

and all around us signs that winter is truly here.

The Temple Greenhouse, designed by Robert Adam

with massive sash windows

not many plants inside this orangerie these days, but it still is gorgeous

 a front view

a magnificent tree hollow

that reminds me of my childhood and all the stories that were read to me

and now we have come full circle and we take the path towards the church and the entrance/exit

the path is lined with these bushes with black berries.

Talking of berries, we also came across these pink ones

that I had not seen before.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Georgia O'Keefe

at the Fondazione Roma Museo - Palazzo Cipolla.

The early works:

These works show her use of a new expressive style, a new interpretation of abstraction.

Red Mesa, 1917

Inside the Tent While at U. of Virginia, 1916

Untitled  (Tent Door at Night),  1916

Blue Hill No. II, 1916

Evening Star No. IV, 1917

Blue Line II, 1919

From the Plains, 1919

The partnership with Alfred Stieglizt inspired a number of semi-abstract self-portraits:

Nude Series VII, 1917


Nude Series VIII, 1917

The second period:

Here are the works painted during her time in New York, the period when she rose to fame in the art world.

Her partnership with Stieglitz, which culminated in their marriage in 1924, her rapport with photography, her fascination with the architectural shapes of the city, all resulted in the creation of new works.

New York City with Moon, 1925

To get away from the Freudian interpretations of her abstract works given by the critics, O'Keefe began to represent natural elements like fruit, flowers, landscapes and trees, using a boldly innovative, macroscopic perspective. These are a celebration of the sensuality of the forms of the natural world, revolutionising the traditional portrayal of floral subjects.

From the Lake, 1924

Corn, No. 2, 1924

Calla Lillies on Red, 1928

Dark Iris, No. 2, 1927

White Iris, No. 7, 1957

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, No. IV, 1930

Purple Petunias, 1925

White Calla Lillies, 1924

Open Clam Shell, 1926

Closed Clam Shell, 1926

After a Walk Back of Mabel's, 1929

The third period:

Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz, 1932

This third period of her work, 1929 onwards, is her time spent in New Mexico. The vast spaces, exotic colours and unusual forms of this landscape immediately became a new source of inspiration.

Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico, Out Back of Marie's, 1930

On the Old Santa Fe Road, 1930-31


During that time she also started painting animal bones that she would collect on her walks in the desert: distinctive and unusual subjects they were interpreted by the critics of the day as symbols of death - for O'Keefe they were emblematic of the inhospitable beauty of the desert.

Horse's Skull on Blue, 1931

Horse's Skull with White Rose, 1931

Summer Days, 1936

Yellow Cactus, 1929

Black and White, 1920

Photograph taken by Ansell Adams

The fourth period:

This is her late period from the 1950s onwards. She began to paint her house in Abiquiu. One of the themes that inspired her work in this period is travel and they show her return to her early abstract approach.

In 1972 she began to have problems with her sight but she continued to paint, but with assitance this time.

Abstraction, 1946, one of the three sculptures she made.

"Black Door with Red" and "My Last Door"

My Last Door, 1954