On Monday, April 24 members of Ross-on-Wye Arts Society, and visitors, met at The Larruperz Centre to hear a very interesting lecture featuring the work of US artist Georgia O’Keeffe. The illustrated talk was given by Tricha Passes, who teaches at both Bristol and Oxford Universities and has studied extensively art history in the modern period. Tricha put the work of O’Keeffe in context by examining the art and photography of others contemporary to her and who were also drawn to the extraordinary landscapes of New Mexico in the inter-war period. Mostly coming from the East Coast, the artists and writers who formed the colony at Tao were accustomed to the towering buildings of New York, but nothing prepared them for the huge spaces and majestic landscapes they found and were inspired by in New Mexico.

O’Keeffe, one of the giants of American painting, developed a very pared back style and visual language of strong shapes and colours, sometimes bordering on the abstract or echoing the dream like landscapes of the surrealists. She became very well known for the huge floral paintings she made but resisted the label of lady flower painter. They are bold and dramatic images that demand the viewers attention and there is nothing twee about them. Overall the audience learned much and had lots of questions for Trisha in the Q and A afterwards.

The next Ross Arts Society lecture will about the architecture, art and textiles of Uzbekistan and take place at 1.45pm on Monday, June 5, at The Larruperz Centre. For more information about the programme and membership please visit www.theartssociety-rossonwye.org. The Society is part of a national membership organisation.