Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://rportal.lib.ntnu.edu.tw:80/handle/77345300/74201
Title: 歐姬芙與跨文化旅行
Georgia O'Keeffe and Transcultural Travel
Authors: 國立臺灣師範大學英語學系
林秀玲
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: 歐姬芙與跨文化旅行 歐姬芙堪稱二十世紀美國最重要的畫家之一。本研究將重點放在旅行對其畫 作的影響。世人大抵以為歐姬芙是位離群索居的隱者,殊不知其動靜之間,她又 是極為活動的旅者,旅行對其創作主題有極深的影響,故此文將為論之。旅行的 主題研究為何對歐姬芙的研究很重要?因為旅行不只是彰顯歐姬芙獨立、女性主 義的意義,同時,它代表了歐姬勇敢地跨文化、跨藝術傳統。 本計劃探討旅行對歐姬芙的影響。旅行可以開拓跨文化視野,因此旅行對 歐姬而言,不僅是追求新的題材,而是跨越文化傳統、跨越美學傳統的行為。 旅行的研究除了彰顯歐姬芙勇敢、特立獨行的女性主義之外,(一個女人生活在 美國西南部的沙漠中長達五十年,需要極大的毅力),亦在探討旅行讓歐姬芙接 觸到異於歐裔白人文化與藝術傳統,例如,在美國境內的新墨西哥州、德州、 科羅拉多州等地,歐姬芙接觸到印地安文化;而在美國境外,歐姬芙除了到歐 洲的巴黎、西班牙旅行外,更遠赴東方、日本、台灣、香港、泰國、柬甫寨、 印度、伊朗、耶路撤冷、中東及埃及等古文明地區、夏威夷、大溪地、南太平 洋、中南美洲、如百慕達、墨西哥、以及祕魯等熱帶地區。這顯示歐姬芙所代 表的二十世紀現代主義勇於開擴與擁抱帶有異國情調的異國文化及美學。歐姬 芙的畫作顯示融合了東方美學與西方簡現代主義的風格。 歐姬芙的生平大抵可以分成幾個時期:1887 年出生至1907 年,歐姬芙成長、 求學於威斯康辛州;1907 至1916 年是歐姬芙的學習時期,曾在紐約、芝加哥、 維吉尼亞州、德州求學或工作;1917 年代起至1949 年與紐約的現代主義關係密 切,在這段期間之內,歐姬芙1929 年首度至新墨西哥州寫生,至1949 年開始正 式定居於該州;1949 年之後至1986 年過世,是她新墨西哥時期。這樣的分類大 致上可以清楚得看出歐姬芙作品的主題、技法、斷代以及地域的關係,但即使是 在大部份的生平傳記,我們對於歐姬所作旅行的記錄仍是十分零碎。歐姬芙於 1986 年過世,至今23 年,從第一本Laurie Lisle 寫作的傳記A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe: The First Definitive Account of the Legendary American Painter 於1980 年 出版之後,有關歐姬芙的著作日漸增多,但令人詫異的事,即使如歐姬芙這樣世 界知名的畫家,我們對其生平創作的瞭解仍在起步階段,仍有許多空白。究其主 要原因是,其生前許多書信、文件、檔案、買賣交易商業來往信件尚未完全公開 出版之故。有關歐姬芙的部份文書尚未解密或存在各檔案圖書館之中,可供研究 查閱,但並未出版。 歐姬芙出生於一八八七年十一月十五日,於威斯康辛州的太陽牧原(Sun Prairie)。她的出生至青少年時期是在美國中西部成長,因此,她以之聞名的花卉,風景的主題大多學者公認均可溯源至其熟悉的生長環境,亦即美國的中西 部。乃至一九四O年代之後,她定居於美國西南部新墨西哥州,離開紐約,歸隱 自然,都與其個性、生活方式、乃至早期中西部牧原對其之影響有密切關係。 一九O七年,二十歲她就讀紐約的「藝術學生聯盟」(Art Students League), 拜入知名印象派畫家William Merritt Chase 門下。一九O八年,她以靜物畫「死 兔與銅罐」(“Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot”)獲得該校的William Merritt Chase 靜 物寫生獎。奬品之一是獲得參加紐約州喬治湖暑期戶外課程的奬學金。一九O八 年在紐約,她參觀由她日後先生Alfred Stieglitz 所主持的291 畫廊的羅丹展。 一九O八年,她並未選擇留在紐約,而是選擇回到芝加哥,成為商業畫家。 後來,她轉至德州Panhandle,靠近Amarillo 一地的小學任美術老師。一九一二 年,她參加維吉尼亞大學暑假的美術課,經由任課老師Alon Bement,接觸到 Arthur Wesley Dow 的創新概念。Alon Bement 是Dow 美學理念的擁獲者,大力 推行Dow 所受到遠東美學影響的理念,進而影響到歐姬芙。歐姬芙擔任Bement 的助教長達數年之久,直到返回德州位於Amarillo 南邊Canyon 一地新近成立的 「西德州師範學院」(West Texas State Normal College),即今日之「西德州科技大 學」(West Texas A & M University)。她之所以任教該校之主因乃是因其受附近Palo Duro Canyon 峽谷景致所吸引。 一九一六年初是歐姬芙創作生涯的轉捩點。當時歐姬芙任教於德州,她的好 友Anita Pollitzer 將幾幅的畫作帶至291 畫廊,給畫廊主持人Alfred Stieglitz 看。 一九一六年四月,291 畫廊在未徵詢歐姬芙的同意之下,即展出其十幅作品。後 來,歐姬芙方才得知,起初十分震怒,最後並同意繼續懸掛參展。次年一九一七 年四月,291 畫廊展出歐姬芙首度個展。作品大多為其德州時期的水彩畫作。 歐姬芙聲名的鵲起與一九二一年二月於Anderson Galleries 首度回顧展有 關。該展中包括了Stieglitz 拍攝的四十五張照片,其中多張歐姬芙的裸體照。此 展成功的塑造歐姬芙女性的原始情慾與其創作之間的關連,成功地創造畫題,造 成轟動。 在一九二O年代,紐約時期的作品,她創作的主題包括花卉、自然景物與紐 約的建築物。今人熟知的放大花卉作品首度創作於一九二四年,而於一九二五年 首度展出,此即為“Petunia No. 2”。而以高聳紐約建築物為主題的作品也是完成 於一九二O年代末期,如一九二六年的 “City Night”及 “New York—Night”,一 九二七年的“Radiator Bldg-Night, New York”。 而花卉中,如一九二六年的“Black Iris Ⅲ”則開啟一系列令人聯想到女性生殖 器官性慾隱密私處聯想的放大花朵,這一系列花朵繪畫在女性主義高漲的一九七 0年代尤其受到女性主義創作者如Judy Chicago,女性主義美術史家與藝評家的 重視與討論。 一九一六年,歐姬芙首度個展之前,她大抵上是個抽象畫家,之後約兩年, 她若非住在德州、便是住在維吉尼亞洲。這兩年中她大約畫了大約七十幅主題是 得自該地自然風光的景抽象畫。但自一九一八年搬回紐約,至一九二九年開始每年均前往新墨西哥寫生。這一段十一年期間,她畫了近三十張得自風景的抽象 畫,而這十一年間,這將近三十張得自風景的抽象畫,而這十一年間,這將近三 十張風景就將近有二十幅畫的主題是喬治湖,喬治湖是Stieglitz 家族的紐約州避 暑山莊所在地,而這些喬治湖的風景畫大抵上是具象的再現,並非抽象畫。所以 說,歐姬芙的風景畫在具象與抽象之間擺盪。 一九二九年是歐姬芙開始覺得旅行之必要,此又與渴望探討發現新的繪畫主 題有關。 一九二O年代開始,新墨西哥州成為許多紐約的現代藝術家與作家的避世桃 花源,其最主要原因乃是第一次世界大戰之後,現代主義者有感於西方物質文明 之弊病與大戰所代表之西方物質文明對人類心靈之摧毀傷害,現代主義者至美國 西部與西南部的原始印地安文明與自然中尋求心靈與精神上之慰借。許多紐約的 作家、藝術家與文人如Mabel Dodge Luhan、Robert Henri、Marsden Hartley 等歐 姬芙的友人均前往新墨西哥的Taos 等地定居或旅遊,因此,於一九二九年,在 住在Taos 的Mabel Dodge Luhan 力邀之下,歐姬芙與友人Beck Strand (攝影家 Paul Strand 之妻),一起前往。她們在Santa Fe 盤桓數目之後,又前往西方 Albuquerque (阿布魁基)。歐姬芙在西南部的旅行中拜訪D. H. Lawrence 所住之 處,畫了日後的「勞倫斯之樹」,此畫目前收藏於康乃狄克州Hartford 的Wadsworth Athenaeum 博物館之中。歐姬芙首次拜訪新墨西哥州是一九一七年,與妹妹 Claudia 一起旅行經過,但首次旅遊寫生創作,她停留時間較久,的一九二九年 這一次她停留時間較久,,歐姬芙見到了離Mabel Dodge Luhan 家未遠,頗具歷 史的古蹟Ranchos de Taos 教堂,當初西班牙移民所建的教堂,許多知名畫家與 攝影家均以其為題材,但歐姬芙的這幅教堂畫最堪稱經典。 自一九二九年之後,至一九四九年之間,長達二十年,歐姬芙幾乎每年都會 至新墨西哥一遊並寫生及創作。在一九三O年,第二年開始,歐姬芙開始收集動 物白骨,畫入畫中,也開始繪畫當地特殊的自然與人文建築景觀。每年秋天,她 即返回紐約。 如Barbara Buhler Lynes 十分有見地的見解所論,歐姬芙的這些一九二九年 代之後的風景畫主要是因應於一九二○年初期之後,批評家將其畫作(主要是放 大的花卉)聯結作性暗示的佛洛依德式的批評。(“Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place” 11) 一九二九年始,她每年均至新墨西哥遊歷並寫生作畫,一直到一九四六年, 在先生Stieglitz 過世之後,她便永久定居在新墨西哥州。這一段時期,一九三○、 一九四○年代,以新墨西哥州的該地的風景為主題的風景畫均是她知名畫作。這 些風景以新墨西哥州西北部為主,尤其是「幽靈農場」。歐姬芙在「幽靈農場」 住了將近半個世紀,新墨西哥州自一九四六年之後便成了她不斷探索與擷取靈感 的來源。歐姬芙堪稱時代的新女性,在男藝術家主導的藝術圈子裏,她孑然獨立, 住在偏遠的沙漠地帶,遠離喧囂與文化中心的紐約,自我流放、獨闢蹊徑,常常 一個人帶著畫具,開著車,在沙漠中旅行,尋找可以入畫的景點。在沙漠中的探險(Exploration)是為了探索新的主題,尋求新的美學靈感。 新墨西哥州的奇絕風景歷經數百萬年的水與風的侵蝕而造就了複雜的視覺 印象,以及地景。這些風景與歐姬芙看似寫具象又抽象的畫之間的關係又是如何 呢?雖然看寫實,但歐姬芙又作一些改變,風景的實景與歐姬芙繪畫之間產生很 有趣的辯證關係。聖塔菲的「喬治亞.歐姬芙博物館」曾於二○○四年六月十一 日至九月十二日與哥倫布美術館(Columbus Museum of Art)於二○○四年十月一日 至二○○五年一月十六日,以及達洛威美術館(Delaware Art Museum)於二○○五 年二月十七日至五月十五日舉行「喬治亞.歐姬芙與新墨西哥州:對地方之感知」 的巡迴展。該展即是在處理歐姬芙以新墨西哥州一地地景的辯證關係,亦即,今 日,我們可以找出當初歐姬芙作畫取景對應關係嗎?恐怕不是那麼簡單。這些畫 作第一眼看去看似寫實,但又非全然寫實,這樣的發現對於學者普遍認為歐姬芙 強烈抽象傾向的認知有極大的修正。 在Stieglitz 於一九四六年過世前,在歐姬芙與Stieglitz 長達二十二年的婚姻 生活歲月裏,歐姬芙並不常作美國之外的國際旅行,但在Stieglitz 過世後,情況 即為改觀,歐姬芙得以數度離開美國,至國外旅行。歐姬芙於一九三三年與一九 三四年前往百慕達,一九三二年,她因先生Stieglitz 的外遇,精神崩潰,曾入院 接受治療,1933、1934 年二度至百慕達旅行,以休養身心。在百慕達期間,她 創造了一些異國風情的植物與景觀。一九三九前至夏威夷(當時夏威夷尚未成為 美國的一州);一九三九年,知名的鳳梨罐頭公司Dole Pineapple Company 邀請 歐姬芙至夏威夷旅行並替該公司作宣傳的商業廣告畫,“White Bird of Paradise”, 即是一九三九年在夏威夷完成的作品。從一九五一年開始,歐姬芙數度前往墨西 哥、秘魯(一九五七年)、西班牙,之後,更於一九五九年及一九六○年兩度至亞 洲旅行,一九五九年旅行包括了日本、台灣、香港、泰國、印度、伊拉克、耶路 撒冷、埃及等地;一九六○年則重遊日本、台灣、香港後至越南柬甫寨,然後, 即打道經由南太平洋小島返美。 在一九五O年末及一九六O年初,歐姬芙二度至遠東旅行。一九五九年,歐 姬芙時年七十二歲,展開首度的環球之旅,但名為環球,大部份行程是在東方, 她停留的國家包括日本、臺灣、香港、越南、泰國、新加坡、印度、埃及。歐姬 芙的亞洲之旅象徵終其一生對亞洲藝術、哲學與生活美學的熱愛與實踐。她是 291 畫廊所有的藝術家中所有藝術家唯一遠行至東方的人。 但多早開始歐姬芙開始有想至遠東一遊的念頭呢?以我目前現階段的研究 可發現最早顯示其有意至東方一遊的文字記載是Maria Chabot 於一九四四年三 月五日(一九四四,信第25號)的信中,Maria Chabot 告訴歐姬芙說:,, Mary Cabot Wheelwright 請一位友人來看Maria,此人為新港(Newport) 的Alice Brayton。「我告訴她我們﹝按:指歐姬芙與Maria﹞未來有朝一旦會去中國(不 是嗎?)她是那種會給我們介紹信的人…她有個老朋友被送至中國從事文化關係 協調工作…」(一七七頁)。 真是要感謝歐姬芙鉅細靡遺的好習慣,收集她旅行之紀念品、節目單、以及說明書、明信片、入場券,今日,近五十年後,我們方得以重構其行程,雖然難 以避免會留下一些記錄空白之處,則我們得以書信、明信片或其他文字記錄予以 補齊。但又由於歐姬芙有時會將不同旅次所帶回的資料放置在錯誤的文件盒子 裏,在目前研究上所面臨的棘手工作之一即是分辨出那一個文件、紀念名信片、 節目單、說明書是屬於那一次旅遊。這批檔案收藏資料對填補歐姬芙傳記裏的空 白片斷十分重要。目前大部份歐姬芙的傳記,如Laurie Lisle 的A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe: The First Definitive Account of the Legendary American Painter (1980)及Roxana Robinson Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life (1989)對於歐姬芙的亞洲行記 載並不明確詳細,主因乃因其寫成之日,此批亞洲之旅的檔案資料並未曾公開之 故。筆者是研究歐姬芙亞洲之旅的第一位學者,當2009 年的寒暑假,筆者至歐 姬芙美術館作研究時,這批亞洲之旅的檔案首次從塵封的盒子裡拿出來,五十年 來,從沒有其它的學者檢視這批檔案資料。因此,不但目前對歐姬芙研究上,不 僅傳記資料有關亞洲之行資料闕如外,更遑論藝術史研究上亞洲文化及藝術對歐 姬芙影響之評估。 歐姬芙首度亞洲之行,時間是從一九五九年一月二十八日至五月十八日,她 參加Donald L. Fergusson 的豪華之旅。她首度到達台北的日期是二月十一日十三 日。他們一行人於日本停留十天之後,於二月十一日星期三下午抵達台北。下午 二點入住圓山飯店;下午二點半,遊覽市區-參觀國立歷史博物館、龍山寺、遊 覽車遊經戲院區、商業區、總統府區塊;下午六點返回飯店。在台北這幾天,他 們一行人下榻圓山飯店。二月十一日,一行人前往國立台灣歷史博物館參觀,因 為當時故宮尚在整建,並未開放。二月十二日,因為歐姬芙一行人抵達時間接近 中國農歷年,美軍顧問團特別安排了一場慰勞軍晚會,邀請安排一場勞軍康樂演 出活動。顯然,歐姬芙是座上嘉賓,因為她的座位是第一排第十號。此場演出包 括幾段平劇折子戲。包括「武松打虎」,講的是梁山好漢打退人扮的老虎,擔綱 的是當紅武生李環春;之後緊接著貼演的是「姑嫂比劍」,領銜的均為當時名角, 分別飾演樊梨花與薛金蓮。緊接著貼演的是一段魔術與歌唱。歐姬芙在阿里山與 烏來所看到的臺灣原住民舞蹈一定讓她想起在新墨西哥的印地安原住民的演出。 二月十二日,一九五九年(星期四)上午九點,他們一行人前往郊區及溫泉 休閒旅遊、遊覽陽明山、駛經死活山區、北投溫泉一遊;中午在市區餐廳午餐下 午一點半至烏來及碧蘭遊覽,參訪烏來市中心一遊,搭乘烏來小火車,觀賞瀑布, 觀賞原住民舞蹈,至碧潭一遊;下午五點半返回飯店;二月十三日,一九五九年 (星期五)上午自由活動,中午十二點四十五分集合前往機場;搭乘下午一點四 十五分香港班次 NO.10 飛機起飛前往香港。 台北之後,此行人前往香港、泰國、印度、巴基斯坦、伊拉克、黎巴嫩,最 後抵達埃及的開羅。一行人在羅門解散之後,歐姬芙並末在歐洲停留,而是直接 羅馬飛回紐約,再飛回新墨西哥州。 一九六O年秋,歐姬芙二度來到東方與南太平洋。距離首次亞洲之旅回來十 七個月(約是一年半)的時間,歐姬芙又再度參加Donald L. Fergusson 的豪華東方之旅。二度啟程前往東方的主要原因是因為一九五九年那次旅行並未包括柬埔 寨,而歐姬芙十分喜愛柬埔寨的藝術。 一九六○年,二度台北行的行程中,這羣旅客被安排參觀了蔣宋美齡為撤退 來台的國軍遺族子弟所設立的華興育幼院、以復興中華文化為使命的復興劇校。 這些歐姬芙所參觀的機構充份反映出歐姬芙參訪臺灣的年代恰處在冷戰時期,蔣 介石撤退來台的這段時期。在今日歐姬芙檔案中所保存下的珍貴旅遊檔案中可以 清楚看出冷戰時期台灣旅遊的文宣,以及充滿意識型態的蔣介石政權的文宣。例 如,位於北投陽明山地區的復興劇校就在英文文宣上寫的是「自由中國的戲劇機 構」(Theatrical Institute in Free China)。英文的簡介文宣顯然設定的讀者是歐美 外國人士。不要忘了,一九六O年代仍是蔣介石政府嚴格控制人民自由出國、外 國人參訪台灣的時期。「華興育幼院」是由中國民黨的反共聯盟(Chinese Women’s Anti-Aggression League)方於一九九五年,由蔣宋美齡所設立,根據此份文宣的 說法,「在此過去三十年的時間裏,蔣宋美齡貢獻心力於遺孤的養育與教育上, 付出極大。原先蔣宋美齡是為了遺族的後代設立學校,在第二次世界大戰以及之 前的八年抗戰紛亂時期,她一肩挑起了養育無家可歸的孩童,並設立許多孤兒 院。」 離開台北之後,一行人繼續至香港、柬甫寨的行程,之後打道南太平洋回美。 歐姬芙旅行過許多地方,接觸到不同的文化與藝術傳統,例如,在美國境 內的新墨西哥州、德州、科羅拉多州等地,歐姬芙接觸到印地安文化;而在美 國境外,歐姬芙除了到歐洲的巴黎、西班牙旅行外,更遠赴東方、日本、台灣、 香港、泰國、柬甫寨、印度、伊朗、耶路撤冷、中東及埃及等古文明地區、夏 威夷、大溪地、南太平洋、中南美洲、如百慕達、墨西哥、以及祕魯等熱帶地 區。這在在顯示歐姬芙所代表的二十世紀現代主義勇於開擴與擁抱帶有異國情 調的異國文化及美學。本計劃將以跨文化的論述觀點重新探討歐姬芙的創作。 2008 至2009 年筆者榮獲Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and Research Center Visiting Scholar Fellowships。Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and Research Center 設置 美國現代主義的文學與藝術中心,一年提供六名訪問學者的獎學金作研究,筆者 是該現代主義研究中心所邀請的第一位外國學者。當時我的研究是針對歐姬芙於 1959、1960 年二度亞洲行作檔案研究,但目前我們對於歐姬芙1933、1934 百慕 達、1950 年代至墨西哥、秘魯,大西地、南太平洋之行的研究仍是空白,我們 對於她多幅作品的靈感以及影響來源所知仍十分有限,我們目前對於歐姬芙與百 慕達、歐姬芙與印地安文化與藝術都仍尚未有人研究。此亦促使筆者想擴大跨文 化旅行對歐姬芙創作上的影響研究。
Georgia O’Keeffe and Transcultural Travels Georgia O’Keeffe is widely-recognized as one of the most important American artists of the twentieth century. This research project aims to document her travels and to study how her journey affected her paintings. In general, O’Keeffe has been perceived as a recluse, living isolated in the desert in New Mexico for nearly 50 years, without it being known that she was actually very active and adventurous. This perception is partly due to the way that she manipulated her own image, and partly due to the fact that her travels have remained understudied. Her travels have not been very well documented, let alone analyzed. To summarize, this research will focus on travels in her life and their influence on her art. O’Keeffe’s life consists of several phases. From her birth in 1887 up to 1907, she grew up in Wisconsin. From 1907 to 1916, she studied in New York, Chicago, Virginia and taught in Texas. From 1917 onwards, she had been closely associated with the New York modernist art movement, which lasted until 1949 when she moved to New Mexico. O’Keeffe visited New Mexico for the first time, briefly for a vacation, with her sister Claudia in 1917. In 1929, O’Keeffe was invited by the matron Mable Dodge Luhan to visit Taos. From then onwards to 1949, for two decades, O’Keeffe had visited New Mexico almost every year, spending time sketching and painting. The above-mentioned broad periodization ties well various stages of her life, the developments of her themes, skills and styles, with loci. More than thirty years have passed, since 1986 (the year of her death) until now. Even though we would like to think that O’Keeffe has been thoroughly covered by modern scholarship, it is undeniable that many of her life records remain obscure. O’Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887, in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The Midwestern themes, which she is so well noted for, such as flowers and landscapes, could be traced back to the environs in which she grew up. After the late 1940s, she left New York, and settled herself permanently in New Mexico, and lived like a hermit in the desert. This brave independence of her personality and character can be traced back to her early Midwestern roots. In 1907, aged twenty, O’Keeffe studied with William Merritt Chase at the Art Students League. In 1908, she won the still-life award from the Art Students League with “Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot.” The prizes she was awarded with included scholarships for Summer School at Lake George. Also in 1908, she went to see the Rodin Exhibition held at the 291 Gallery, run by Alfred Stieglitz, her future husband, the impresario of the American modern art, who was also a pioneering photographer. At the close of that year, she did not choose to stay in New York, but instead she went back to Chicago and became a commercial artist. She then moved to Panhandle, in Texas, working as an elementary art teacher near Amarillo, Texas. In 1912, she took summer art courses in the University of Virginia. Through the instructor, Mr. Alon Bement, she became aware of the innovative and progressive aesthetic theories of Arthur Wesley Dow. Alon Bement was an advocate of Dow’s ideas, and was heavily influenced by Far Eastern Aesthetics. O’Keeffe worked as a teaching assistant to Professor Bement for some years, until she returned to Texas as an art teacher at the West Texas State Normal College, nowadays, West Texas A & M University. The school is located in Canyon, to the south of Amarillo. She taught there partly because she was attracted by the beautiful scenery of Palo Duro Canyon. 1916 is one major turning point in her career. At that time she was teaching at the West Texas State Normal College, when her close friend and fellow artist Anita Pollitzer brought her charcoal paintings to Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 Gallery. April 1916, Stieglitz exhibited ten pieces of her work at the gallery without O’Keeffe’s permission. When O’Keeffe later learned about it, she was angry, but had to permit the show to continue. In April 1917, next year, the first group exhibition of O’Keeffe, along with the works of other artists, took place in the 291 Gallery. This show featured her paintings from the Texas period. The rise of O’Keeffe’s fame hinges to a great extent upon her first retrospective in the February 1921 at the Anderson Galleries. This exhibition includes forty-five photos taken by Stieglitz, many of them O’Keeffe’s nude pictures. This sensational show successfully fashioned O’Keeffe as an archetypal icon amongst female artists, tying eroticism with her creativity. It was a very successful marketing strategy, catapulting her to fame and to the fore of the New York Avant-Garde. In the 1920s, the main themes of her New York phase feature flowers, natural sceneries, and skyscrapers. The first examples of the enlarged floral paintings, the genre that nowadays people are most familiar with, was first created in 1924, and first exhibited in 1925--“Petunia No. 2.” The painting of another featured subject during this period, the New York high-rise city-scrapers, was also accomplished during the late 1920s, for instance, “City Night” and “New York—Night” in 1926, and “Radiator Bldg-Night, New York” in 1927. Among all flowers, the “Black Iris Ⅲ” (1926) uncurtains a series of paintings of enlarged flowers inviting associations with the female sexual organ. This series of flowers inspired many female artists, such as Judy Chicago, especially during the 1970s when the awareness of feminism became widespread. In 1929 O’Keeffe felt a strong urge to travel, because she felt stifled by New York. She also desired very much to explore new subjects for painting. Starting from the 1920s, New Mexico became a paradise for the escapist New York intellectuals and artists, mainly because they became disenchanted with the materialism and western civilization, which they believed would damage the soul of humankind. They would escape to the American West and Southwest in search of spiritual rebirth and consolation. Many New York writers, artists and intellectuals, such as Mabel Dodge Luhan, Robert Henri, Marsden Hartley, all friends of O’Keeffe, had moved, or traveled, to Taos and other cities in New Mexico. Mabel Dodge Luhan moved to Taos on the spur of the moment and decided to stay there permanently. Under the invitation of Mabel, O’Keeffe and Beck Strand, the wife of the photographer Paul Strand, they traveled together to the Southwest - a few days in Taos, Santa Fe, and then Albuquerque. She visited the ranch of D. H. Lawrence, and painted “The Lawrence Tree,” now belonging to the collection of Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut. Also in this trip in 1929, O’Keeffe first painted Ranchos de Taos, not far from Mabel Dodge Luhan’s house. O’Keeffe painted this church again in the 1950s. This archaic church was first built by the early Spanish settlers, and it has become the subject of many famous artists and photographers, such as Ansel Adams, and others, but O’Keeffe’s paintings of the Ranchos rank amongst the classics. From 1929 to 1949, a span of nearly 20 years, O’Keeffe went to New Mexico almost every year for painting trips. In 1930, she started collecting and painting animal bones, and also started painting the unique, special natural scenery and buildings. Every autumn she would return to New York. As Barbara Buhler Lynes very insightfully points out, O’Keeffe painted these New Mexican landscapes during the 1920s mainly as a reaction against critics’ persistent association of her flowers with the Freudian sexual interpretations popular during the early 1920s. (“Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place” 11) From 1946 onwards, New Mexico was to become the best source of her inspiration. Starting from 1929, nearly every year, O’Keeffe spent some time in the New Mexico traveling and painting, until her husband Stieglitz died in 1946, when she started contemplating settling permanently in the New Mexico. Her paintings featuring the New Mexico landscapes during the 1930s and 1940s are considered as arguably her most well-known works. Many of them depict the landscapes and sceneries of the Northwestern New Mexico, especially the area surrounding the Ghost Ranch. She lived in the Ghost Ranch and the nearby Abiquiu for nearly half a century. O’Keeffe was a very unique, independent female artist of her age. She was very brave to live independently in the desert, exploring the vast, empty land on her own looking for scenery to inspire her. She often drove her car alone on her painting trips. She brought along her painting gears, and would convert her van into her working studio. She explored in the desert to search for a new subject, a fresh aesthetic stimulation. The awesome New Mexico landscapes, warped following millions of years of erosion by the water and wind had formed complex and spectacular visual images and landscapes. She was a very unique and outstanding female painter during a time when the art world was dominated by male artists and critics. She exiled herself in the remote desert, away from the cultural center of New York. What are the connections between these landscapes and her paintings? Are they representational? Her paintings seem representational, but sometimes they look like abstractions. Although they look like real, O’Keeffe also made some changes, thus we may say these paintings and landscapes constitute a very intriguing dialectical relationship. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, held a touring exhibition, “Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place,” from June 11 to September 12, 2004, in conjunction with the Columbus Museum of Art, from October 1, 2004,, to January 16, 2005; and with Delaware Art Museum, February 17 to May 15, 2005. This exhibition deals with the dialectical complex relationship between the landscapes and O’Keeffe’s abstract-yet-representational paintings. At first glance her abstract paintings look like realistic representations, like a photo shot, but examined more closely, they are not really realistic. This exhibition reveals such discrepancies and intriguing dialectical relationships between abstraction and representation. This has greatly helped modify our perception of O’Keeffe as an abstract painter. During the 22 years of marriage with Stieglitz, O’Keeffe did not travel beyond the United States. After the death of Stieglitz, however, O’Keeffe’s life turned a new leaf—she traveled several times abroad. She went two times to Bermuda, in 1933 and 1934, respectively. In 1932, because of Stieglitz having an affair, O’Keeffe had a nervous break-down and was hospitalized for treatment. She took a vacation to Bermuda for recovery in 1933 and then again in 1934. She painted some exotic landscape scenery while in Bermuda. In 1939, she visited Hawaii under the invitation of the Dole Pineapple Company, when Hawaii was not yet a State of the United States. In that year, Dole Pineapple Company invited O’Keeffe to tour and paint commercial paintings for advertisements. However, she did not paint any pineapples. Instead, she painted “White Bird of Paradise” among other exotic plants. In the 1950s, from 1951 onwards, she traveled several times to Mexico, Peru, Spain, and afterwards, in 1959 and 1960, she took two trips to Asia. In 1959, she took her first tour around the world, but she spent the majority of her time in Asia. She visited Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Iraq, Jerusalem, and Egypt, to name only a few places. In 1960, she returned her second visit to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, and afterwards, returned back to the States via the South Pacific. How early did O’Keeffe start to think about traveling to Asia? The earliest indication of her desire I can find at the current stage of my research is in the letter from Maria Chabot to O’Keeffe, around March 5, 1944, [1944, Letter 25]. Maria told Georgia that Mary Cabot Wheelwright sent a friend, Alice Brayton, of Newport, to see Maria. “I told her we intend to go to China someday (don’t we?) and she is the sort who can give us letters to people.… She is a life-long friend of the man who has been sent to China to coordinate cultural relations….” (177) In the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s O’Keeffe made several trips to Asia. In 2009 when I spent my fellowship year at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center my research mainly focused on her 1959 and 1960 trips. In 1959, Georgia O’Keeffe, at the age of 72, made her first trip around the world, visiting numerous Asian countries, such as Japan, Formosa, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, India and Egypt, to name only a few. O’Keeffe’s trips to Asia embody a life-long aesthetic aspiration and realization of her love of Asian art, philosophy and life. She was the only 291 gallery artist who traveled to Asia. Thanks to O’Keeffe’s meticulous habit of saving her trip mementos, programs and brochures, we are able to reconstruct her trips to Asia, though they may inevitably have some gaps that we need to fill in with her existing correspondence or interviews. But on account of O’Keeffe’s mixing documents from different trips, and placing programs, flyers, business cards, notes, mementos in the wrong boxes, as we often do, one daunting task I face at this current stage of research is to sort out which document belongs to which trip. This archival collection is very important to fill in the gaps of most of O’Keeffe’s biographies. Most biographies, such as those by Laurie Lisle or Roxanne Robison, are not detailed about O’Keeffe’s travels in Asia, let alone in the assessment of the influence of Asian cultures and art upon O’Keeffe’s art and life. After ten days in Japan, they flew on Feb. 11 to Taipei in the afternoon. Feb. 11, 1959 (Wednesday) 1300: Arrive Taipei (HK No. 2) 1330: Transfer to Hotel 1400: Check-in at Grand Hotel 14:30: City Tour—To visit National Historical Museum—Lungshan Temple—Drive through Theatre District—Business District—Visit Presidential Office Square. 1800: Return to Hotel Feb. 12, 1959 (Thursday) 0900: Suburb and Spa Resort Tour—To visit Yangmingshan—Drive through Extinct Volcano Site—Visit Peitou Resort 1200: Luncheon in downtown restaurant 1330: Wulai-Pitan Tour—To visit Wulai Town—Ride on Pushchart Railway—View Waterfall—View Aborigines Dance—Visit Pitan. 1730: Return to Hotel Feb. 13, 1959 (Friday) Morning at leisure 1245: Transfer to Airport 1345: Depart for Hong Kong (HK No.10) In Taipei, the group stayed at the Grand Hotel. On Feb. 11th, the group visited the National Historical Museum, because at that time the National Palace Museum was still under construction. On Feb. 12th, because they arrived around Chinese New Year, the General Headquarters of the US Army hosted a Troop Variety Show honoring members of the Army. Evidently, O’Keeffe was a very honored guest, because her seat was #10 in the first row. This show included several vignettes of Peking opera performances, starting with “An Adventure of a Knight-Errant,” a martial art episode of a hero fighting off a costumed tiger. It starred one of the leading Peking opera performers, Li Huan-chun. This was followed by a short play of “The Quarrels of Sister-in-Laws,” a comedy of domestic bickering, played by the famous opera stars of the era. This was then followed by shows of magic and singing. The Taiwan aboriginal dance she saw harkened back to the Indian dances she had seen in New Mexico. After Taipei, the group went from Hong Kong, through Thailand, India, Pakistan, and onto Iraq, and Lebanon, finally arriving in Cairo, Egypt. The group disbanded in Rome, where O’Keeffe then flew back to New York, and then back to New Mexico. Almost exactly one year after the group disbanded in Rome, Mr. Donald L. Ferguson lured “Dear Mrs. O’Keeffe,” in a letter dated May 16th, 1960, with the invitation of another “dream trip.” Hence, within 17 months of her return from the first trip, she embarked on another trip: As her letter to Peggie, Margaret BokKiskadden, stated on Jan. 2, 1961, [#35] “I went to Japan—Formosa—Hong Kong—Saigon—Cambodia—and Bangkock [sic] then back through the Pacific islands—Fuji—Tahiti—Morea—and Honolulu was on the way home. I went because I had missed Cambodia~the other trip—the revolution made it impossible at that time and it is one of the places I always wanted to go.” In 1960, she spent two weeks in the Asia, and six weeks out in the Pacific. This research project will examine the influence of travels upon O’Keeffe’s works. Travel can explore and expand cultural horizons. For O’Keeffe, travel not only signifies an exploration of new subjects for her art, but also embodies a way to cross cultural boundaries, and challenge aesthetic limits. This study on her travels will demonstrate her boldness, independence, and her feminism. Living an isolated life in the American Southwest desert for half a century requires great perseverance and a strong will. This study will further show that travels allowed O’Keeffe to be in contact with a culture and an aesthetic tradition alien to the white European heritage she inherited. Through traveling within the United States, in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, among others, O’Keeffe exposed herself to Indian culture and various art forms, such as dance, rites, and ceremonies, among others. Through traveling outside the United States, she came to realize her dreams of visiting the Eastern cultures and countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Iran, Jerusalem, the Middle East, and Egypt, nearly all major countries of ancient Oriental civilizations. She also visited Hawaii, Tahiti, South Pacific, and Bermuda, Mexico, Peru, among others. O’Keeffe exemplifies a twentieth-century progressive female artist who has no fear in constantly challenging her physical and artistic boundaries. Transcultural traveling symbolizes such modernist exploration. She embodies the infusion of Western modernity and the Other culture and art.
URI: http://rportal.lib.ntnu.edu.tw/handle/77345300/74201
Other Identifiers: ntnulib_tp_B0238_04_012
Appears in Collections:教師著作

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