Tuesday, August 01, 2017

An all-absorbing read

For months now I have been slowly making my way through Carr, O'Keeffe, Kahlo, Places of Their Own by Sharyn Rohlfsen UdallMarja-Leena Rathje told me about the book and the accompanying exhibition in Canada, and I was fortunate in being able to find a second hand copy here in the UK.
I thank Marja-Leena so much as this book has been like attending a rewarding academic course, making me look at the work of two artists I did not know to any great degree: Carr and Kahlo, and compare aspects of their thinking and communication with an artist I have read a great deal about over the years: O'Keeffe.  The book compares their art, their lives, and the achievements they made, covering the women's encounters with thoughts of nationality, gender, personal mythology, and success.  And examining their progress as individuals, women, with distinctive separate voices with visual statements different not only from each other, but from their contemporary artists.  The book examines similarities in difficulties they faced, as well as similarities in some aspects of their input and how that affected their output.
Harold Mortimer Lamb: Emily Carr (image from here)
Emily Carr: Wood interior (image from here)
Ralph Looney: Georgia O'Keeffe (image from here)
Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction White Rose (image from here)
Frida Kahlo (image from here)
Frida Kahlo: My Dress Hangs There (image from here)

Another immersive book I enjoyed a couple of years ago, which also included Georgia O'Keeffe was Three Artists (Three Women): Modernism and the Art of Hesse, Krasner, and O'Keeffe by Anne Middleton Wagner.  And this fascinating journey into the art of women of the Americas continues with my current reading of Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists by Donna Seaman.  I find it a brilliant continuation and expansion of my education in art history, which has been largely steeped in a European perspective.


  1. This is a book I would very much like to own: I have made a note of it and will try and find it when we get back to the UK. My fascination with Kahlo is decades old, and O'Keefe is an artist I greatly admire, but I know very little of Carr's work. The image you have posted is stunning - it's always exciting discovering a new artist and finding out about her work. Thank you for this.

    1. I do hope that you find it Eirene. I have enjoyed it enormously, and the contents will keep me thinking for quite a while.

  2. What a surprise to find my name here! I am pleased that you've enjoyed the book so much. Emily Carr should be better known outside Canada and this exhibition and book do that in a very interesting way. I am enjoying your additional links too.

    1. Thank you so much Marja-Leena for telling me about this book. As I say, it has been so informative, stimulating, and enjoyable. It has also been so good to find out more about Emily Carr, as you say. I was/am particularly interested by the multi-directional examination of their sense of place - an imaginative approach, and it has got me thinking about this aspect of other artists too.
      Thank you, Marja-Leena.