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The '10 Best Skies in Art' … One's in Fort Worth

by Jerome Weeks 20 Mar 2012 9:50 AM

OK, such lists are designed to increase a website’s page views through easy provocation. But they can also stimulate some thought. Or at least, some second-guessing.


For one of the many oddball, geek-produced and argument-generating lists hanging around the interwebs these days, Laura Cumming came up with the ‘Ten Best Skies in Art’ for the London Guardian. Having read nothing but the headline, I guessed there’d be a sample by Constable, one by Turner and, of course, Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. I also would have bet on Vermeer’s View of Delft or something by Jacob van Ruisdael (Cumming goes for the much later Dane, Christen Kobke), also something by an Impressionist and possibly something by Bierstadt (I’d have lost: She goes for Caspar David Friedrich, good choice).

But I should have thought of Georgia O’Keefe’s Light Coming on the Plains III at the Amon Carter (left). Cumming did (“The sky hovers in her art between evocative naturalism and pure abstraction.”) It’s not often on view at the Carter because it’s a watercolor on paper, easily damaged by light, but its close cousin #2 was part of the Carter’s The Allure of Paper exhibition last year for the museum’s 50th anniversary.