Remarkable American artists, Georgia O’Keeffe and Robert Mapplethorpe, who have made equally important contributions to the rights and freedoms movement—in the art world and beyond—in Irina Kulik’s next lecture.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) is the first female artist to have had a solo retrospective at MoMA, New York (1946). Spanning over seven decades, her practice represents American modernist painting at its zenith, with her subjects varying from flowers to cityscapes and urban architecture. Rooted in natural forms and motifs, O’Keeffe’s paintings are nevertheless profoundly abstract at the same time. Married to one of the most eminent photographers and influential art dealers of the twentieth century, Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe developed a brilliant artistic career of her own, with many of her seminal works included in top museum collections in the US and across the globe.
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) is one the most famous twentieth century photographers, whose life and work have pushed forward our understanding of body, nudity, and sexuality. Active participant and representative of various New York subcultures of the 1960s to the 1980s, including BDSM, as an artist Mapplethorpe concentrated primarily on erotic studio photography. Whereas his visual manner can be described as formal and statuesque, Mapplethorpe’s models were often black people, homosexuals, or other social types regarded deeply marginal at the time. He has also portrayed a lot of celebrities and other artists. Mapplethorpe died aged just 42 in 1989 due to HIV complications.