Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Robert Tannen's Georgia O'Keeffe

Robert Tannen is an admired and highly-visible part of the New Orleans art landscape. This seventy-one year old artist, urban-planner, and activist has played important roles in the 1984 World's Fair, the second phase of New Orleans Mississippi River Bridge, hurricane recovery of the Gulf Coast after Camille, the creation of the Contemporary Arts Center, and the list goes on. The 1976 sculpture pictured above is indicative of Tannen's unique vision and incomparable sense of humor. Titled Georgia O'Keeffe, Tannen describes it as a "cannibalistic horse/cow." When the sculpture was being installed in Bob's 2008 Ogden exhibition, Stardust: Objects, Ideas, and Proposals, Tannen told the crew that he sent an image of the work to its famed namesake, along with a letter explaining his admiration of the great Southwestern painter. Georgia sent a letter back that simply stated, "Please do not send this sculpture."

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