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Nobody Sees a Flower

44.4 Mother/Artist Collective

March 1, 2024
 - March 31, 2024

Daly Lobby – Level 0 | Alcove – Level 1 | Sky Lounge – Level 3 

“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small.” – Georgia O’Keeffe, An American Place exhibition catalogue, 1939¹

In 2014, the American Modernist painter, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), made history when her painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 (1932) sold for $44.4 million, quadrupling its estimated value and becoming the most expensive work by a woman artist ever sold at auction.² A decade later, this record remains unbroken, continuing to motivate and challenge women artists like those of the 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective. Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 serves as a steadfast muse, inspiring not only this new exhibition but the formation of the collective itself. 

Although O'Keeffe desired children, she faced a dilemma familiar to many women: choosing between family and career.³ As the revered Mother of American Modernism, she chose the latter, leaving us to ponder the ramifications on her artistic influence had she chosen differently.⁴ In Nobody Sees a Flower, the 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective presents a collection of work informed by O’Keeffe’s legacy, diversely engaging with her poignant observation: “Nobody sees a flower…” 

Exploring the intricate intersections of art, motherhood, and societal perspectives, the exhibited works vary significantly, mirroring the unique lived experiences of Mothers/Artists. By embracing both the celebrated and unseen aspects of motherhood, the collection draws parallels with the jimsonweed, balancing contrasting elements such as beauty and toxicity, as well as the roles of Mother and Artist. Nobody Sees a Flower prompts introspection into the depth of our appreciation for both motherhood and the art it inspires.  

Curated by Moira Power 

This exhibition was made possible through a partnership between the Ottawa Art Gallery and the 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective, whose collaboration continues through the OAG’s In-Reach program. The 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective’s new merchandise and art are also available for purchase at the OAG Shop. 

The 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective is a growing group of women artists working on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. Bridging motherhood and art, their collective shares knowledge, supports creative self-actualization, and empowers professional advancement. Participating artists include Sarah Anderson, Jennifer Cherniack, Rebecca Clouâtre, Sarah Jane Estabrooks, Greta Grip, Sayward Johnson, Alexa Mazzarello, Andrea Mueller, Kristine Nyborg, Lucie Raymond, and Victoria Solan.


 

¹ Georgia O’Keeffe and William Einstein, “About Myself,” in Georgia O’Keeffe: Exhibition of Oils and Pastels, January 22-March 17, 1939It Is Said, Series II (New York City, NY: An American Place, 1939), https://collections.library.yale.edu/catalog/15818083. 

² “American Icon: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1,” Sothebys.com, April 4, 2016, https://www.sothebys.com/en/videos/american-icon-georgia-okeeffes-jimson-weed-white-flower-no-1. 

³ Georgia O’Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz, February 18, 1917, in My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933, ed. Sarah Greenough (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011). 

 Kira Randolph, A Short Biography of Georgia O’KeeffeInternet Archive, of Short Biographies Series (Carlisle, MA: Benna Books, 2017), https://archive.org/details/shortbiographyof0000rand/mode/2up. 

 

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Bibliography 

“American Icon: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1.” Sothebys.com, April 4, 2016. https://www.sothebys.com/en/videos/american-icon-georgia-okeeffes-jimson-weed-white-flower-no-1 

O’Keeffe, Georgia, and William Einstein. “About Myself.” In Georgia O’Keeffe: Exhibition of Oils and Pastels, January 22-March 17, 1939. It Is Said, Series II. New York City, NY: An American Place, 1939. https://collections.library.yale.edu/catalog/15818083 

O’Keeffe, Georgia. Letter to Alfred Stieglitz, February 18, 1917. In My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933, edited by Sarah Greenough. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011.  

Randolph, Kira. A Short Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. Internet Archive. Of Short Biographies Series. Carlisle, MA: Benna Books, 2017. https://archive.org/details/shortbiographyof0000rand/mode/2up 

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