After almost a year touring the mainland as part of the exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i—which opened at the New York Botanical Garden (where more than 400,000 people saw them!) then traveled to the Brooks Museum in Memphis, Tennessee—four of our Georgia O’Keeffe paintings of stylized Maui landscapes are back home.
Now in the Modernism gallery, you can see all four paintings: Waterfall—End of Road—’Iao Valley; Papaya Tree, Iao Valley, Maui; Waterfall—No. III—’Iao Valley; and Black Lava Bridge, Hana Coast, No. I.
Last year, only the paintings depicting ‘Iao Valley were on display. Now guests have the chance to see the natural bridge that marks Pailoa Bay in Waianapanapa State Park on Maui. O’Keeffe obscured the horizon behind the bridge and silhouetted the span against a featureless sky and choppy water. As orientation and spatial perception become ambiguous, a strong sense of abstraction emerges. By placing emphasis on the decorative contours of the bridge and repetition of brushstrokes in the water, O’Keeffe revealed the underlying structure of the scene and captured the physical drama and emotional intensity of the site.