Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Artist of the Week: Georgia O'Keeffe American Painter 1887-1986

Among the great American artists of the 20th-century, Georgia O’Keeffe stands as one of the most compelling. For nearly a century, O’Keeffe’s representations of the beauty of the American landscape were a brave counterpoint to the chaotic images embraced by the art world. Her cityscapes and still life's filled the canvas with wild energy that gained her a following among the critics as well as the public. Though she has had many imitators, no one since has been able to paint with such intimacy and stark precision. With exceptionally keen powers of observation and great finesse with a paintbrush, Georgia O'Keeffe recorded subtle nuances of color, shape, and light that enlivened her paintings and attracted a wide audience.

After spending a summer in New Mexico, Georgia O'Keeffe, enthralled by the barren landscape and expansive skies of the desert, would explore the subject of animal bones in her paintings of the 1930s and 1940s. Georgia found the thin, dry air enabled her to see farther, and at times could see several approaching thunderstorms in the distance at once.

She affectionately referred to the land of northern New Mexico as "the faraway"...a place of stark beauty and infinite space. Soon after their arrival, Georgia O'Keeffe and Beck where invited to stay at Mable Dodge Luhan's ranch outside of Taos for the summer. Georgia O'Keeffe would go on many pack trips exploring the rugged mountains and deserts of the region.

On one trip Georgia O'Keeffe visited the D.H. Lawrence ranch and spent several weeks there. Just as with the flowers, Georgia O'Keeffe painted the bones magnified and captured the stillness and remoteness of them, while at the same time expressing a sense of beauty that lies within the desert.

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