The current show at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum - O'Keeffiana: Art & Art Materials, runs through May 8, 2011 and offers a rare glimpse into the underpinnings of O'Keeffe's artistic practice. Nine galleries are filled with a rich selection of artworks,  photographs of O'keeffe at work and in the landscapes that she loved, as well as a collection of pastels, watercolors, oil paints and brushes that she used in her studio.

But, what made this  exhibit come alive was that I got to walk through the galleries with Carolyn Kastner, curator of the exhibition and associate curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. She told "stories" about O'Keeffe and her work that made the paintings and the show more dynamic. Like when she pointed out a  simple drawing with a sweeping stroke of graphite.

Untitled (Black Place), c. 1944/1945
Georgia O’Keeffe -Graphite on paper  - 7 5/8 x 11 3/8 (19.36 x 28.89)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (2006.05.187)
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

And then  pointed to a lush, sensual  painting that  she said began with this simple motif.  "That primary stroke was the underlying armature of the painting," notes  Kastner, "and you can see that O'Keeffe starts with an idea and changes very little. It demonstrates her power."

Black Place III, 1944  -  Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe - Oil on canvas   -  36 x 40 (60.6 x 76.2)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Gift of The Burnett Foundation (2007.01.026)
© 1987, Private Collection

And, then there are the bones, the beautiful picked-clean sculls that O'Keeffe painted again and again, singularly and then in landscapes as if she were putting them back where she had found them.

Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, 1938
Georgia O’Keeffe  -  Oil on canvas  -  20 x 30 (50.8 x 76.2)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Gift of The Burnett Foundation (2007.01.024)
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

A wonderful exhibit. Beautifully conceived and artfully hung.
 Thank you Carolyn!

127 Johnson Street 
Santa Fe, NM


il piatto - An Italian Delight

A friend invited me for lunch. And what a swell lunch it was. If you haven't been to il piatto lately or you've never been, chastise yourself and make a beeline to this wonderful restaurant to indulge in authentic regional Italian cuisine. I promise you'll find it fun, delicious and the best deal in town.  A three-course prix fixe lunch is just $14.95. And you can choose from their daily special menu or their regular lunch menu. Dinner is $29.50 for three courses as well.

Our waiter, Julian arrived, took our orders...

 and swept back to the
table with a basket of lovely bread.

We dabbed it in a pool of olive oil and were quite
 content waiting for our first course to arrive.

I ordered the Caesar Salad and it was creamy and crisp
and lovely with generous shavings of cheese and freshly ground pepper.

But I have to say that my friend's Grilled Calamari with
Shaved Fennel Pepper  and Onion Salad with Aoli was outrageously good.
"Intoxicatingly tender and very sexy," were her exact words.

Then came our second course. Hers, Sauteed Chicken Livers with Pancetta & Mashed Potatoes. Mine, Penne Cinque Colori Bolognese with Beef, Chicken, Pork & Hot House Tomatoes.

If you think this looks good...you should taste it!
Then came dessert - and I was so excited that I ate it before I remembered
to take a photo.  Next time!

95 West Marcy St. - just down from the Plaza

Chef/Owner - Matt Yohalem
Manager - Andrew Rabb

Il Piatto on Urbanspoon