Movies, fashion, society and art all came together on Wednesday night at The Whitney Museum on the Upper East Side. The evening celebrated the opening of “Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction,” a show that runs through year-end.
Actress Joan Allen portrays O’Keeffe in a Lifetime movie premiering this Saturday that focuses on her rocky relationship with her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
“Stieglitz was very effusive, very talkative, intellectual, debating and he also liked the ladies besides [O’Keeffe] and that became an issue. So they ran into their snags in their relationship,” says Allen. “His photography influenced her painting a great deal in terms of framing and selection, and so in some ways it was a really wonderful coupling but they were also very, very different people.”
“You think, ‘Why did this pair stay together? What is the attraction?’ There was a big age difference, so that exploration was a very interesting one for me,” says Jeremy Irons, who plays Stieglitz.
Pamela Roland’s designs at Fashion Week were inspired by O’Keeffe.
“So you obviously see the flowers and Georgia is obviously known for flowers and very abstract flowers and the oranges and the bright colors,” says Roland.
Barbara Haskell, the Whitney Museum’s curator, believes O’Keeffe was a very important artist.
“She’s made paintings that for decades have tapped into people’s emotions when the mind stops and you’re completely absorbed in the thing itself, and that kind of universality has endeared her to generations of people,” says Haskell. “From the very beginning of her career she was a star.”
Between O’Keeffe’s paintings in the Whitney and O’Keeffe-inspired dresses on the models, Alfred Stieglitz would have been pretty proud.
Susan Lucci, Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen were among the attendees at the Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction exhibition opening at The Whitney Museum of American Art on Wednesday in New York City.
The exhibition includes more than 130 paintings, drawings, watercolors, and sculptures by O’Keeffe as well as selected examples of Alfred Stieglitz’s famous photographic portrait series of O’Keeffe.