Making Modernism opens at the Queensland Art Gallery

Georgia O'Keefe's Ram's Head
Georgia O'Keefe's Ram's Head

In the wake of International Women’s Day, comes the opening of a major exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery celebrating the achievements of three extraordinary artists – Georgia O’Keefe, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith. 

The opening program for O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism’ this weekend features panel discussions and tours with exhibition co-curators, a free musical performance and more.

The exhibition, celebrating the iconic work of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) and pioneering Australian artists Margaret Preston (1875–1963) and Grace Cossington Smith (1892–1984), continues at the Queensland Art Gallery until 11 June 2017.

Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said the exhibition, touring Melbourne, Brisbane and then Sydney, is presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Heide Museum of Modern Art and QAGOMA in partnership with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.

“We are thrilled to co-host the largest display of O’Keeffe’s work ever to visit Australia, including iconic works such as Storm Cloud, Lake George 1923, The Black Iris 1926 and one of her most memorable skull and floral motif images, Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory.  Audiences have a unique opportunity to see works by one of America’s most innovative painters, in parallel with two of Australia’s best known and beloved artists. The exhibition and opening weekend program highlights the distinguished contribution these remarkable women artists made to international modernism across the breadth of their careers,” Saines said.

Grace Cossington Smith: Landscape at Pentecost, 1929; Oil on paperboard, 83.7 x 111.8 cm.

Grace Cossington Smith: Landscape at Pentecost, 1929; Oil on paperboard, 83.7 x 111.8 cm.

Exhibition co-curators Denise Mimmocchi (Curator, Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales), Lesley Harding (Curator, Heide Museum of Modern Art), and Cody Hartley (Senior Director, Collections and Interpretation, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum), along with initiating curator Jason Smith (Director, Geelong Art Gallery) and Dr Kyla McFarlane (Acting Curatorial Manager, Australian Art, QAGOMA) will join audiences for the Opening Weekend programs.

At 11:00am on Saturday 11 March at Cinema A, GOMA, the exhibition co-curators will host a keynote panel discussion examining the parallel lives and practices of the three artists. Then at 12:30pm the Bentley Strings will give a free performance on the QAG Watermall, performing a repertoire of songs inspired by the works featured in the exhibition.

The rich array of programs continues throughout the exhibition, and will include special talks and workshops on Mother’s Day (Sunday 14 May), International Museum Day (Thursday 18 May) and World Poetry Day (Tuesday 21 March).

Margaret Preston: Monstera Deliciosa

Margaret Preston: The Monstera Deliciosa, 1934, oil on canvas, 42.7 x 43.2cm.

Curated by Lesley Harding (Heide Museum of Modern Art), Denise Mimmocchi (AGNSW), Jason Smith (initiating curator and former QAGOMA Curatorial Manager) with Cody Hartley and Carolyn Kastner (Georgia O’Keeffe Museum). This project is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The exhibition is generously supported by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Society, the Gordon Darling Foundation and the Government of the United States.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Sante Fe was established in 1997 to preserve and advance the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe. The museum is dedicated to developing appreciation of O’Keeffe’s remarkable oeuvre both nationally and internationally through exhibitions that provide new scholarship on her practice.

For more information on the opening weekend program please visit
Following its season in Brisbane, the exhibition will tour to the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1 July to 2 October 2017.



Leave a Reply