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With Her Brush Strokes Georgia O’keeffe Pioneered Modernism


“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it\’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

Georgia O\’Keeffe


Georgia O\’Keeffe was an American artist who painted nature in a way that showed how it made her feel. Her paintings of floral scenes and arid landscapes are her most well-known works. She used oil paints and vivid colours to create incredibly detailed paintings. She attempted to convey her feelings about nature via her paintings. She was a pioneer of abstraction, producing works that were more like creations of her understanding and imagination than they were imitations of the visible world despite being motivated by careful observation of her surroundings.


Georgia Totto O’Keeffe was born on 15th November 1887 in Wisconsin, USA. O\’Keeffe attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1905 to 1906 with the goal of pursuing a career in the arts, studying under John Vanderpoel and other instructors. She then travelled to New York, where she studied at the Art Students League from 1907–1908 alongside Kenyon Cox, F. Luis Mora, and William Merritt Chase. She created works in series, fusing abstraction and realism to highlight the basic shapes of nature. While some of these pieces are quite detailed, in others, she removed what she felt was superfluous to concentrate on shape and colour.


Georgia had a challenging start to her artistic career. She switched jobs frequently. She occasionally worked as a commercial artist while still teaching art. She once lost motivation and stopped painting for four years. But after being influenced by the painter Arthur Wesley Dow, she started painting once more. Georgia started to build her own distinctive style as she learned more about art. She started using her painting as a way to convey her feelings and emotions. Georgia started from scratch and created a number of charcoal sketches that served as some of the earliest examples of her new aesthetic. Georgia enlarged flowers she found in nature hundreds of times in order to express her admiration for the untamed power of nature that dwells within the spirit of such a little and transient plant. The artist primarily used calla lilies, irises, poppies, jimsonweed, and petunias in her paintings since they are delicate and have a variety of textures.


During the summer of 1930, when a drought had decimated the Southwest and numerous animal skeletons could be found in the desert, Georgia O\’Keeffe acquired the cow\’s skull in New Mexico. The bones\’ bare elegance captured her attention, and she shipped some of them back to New York so she could paint them the following year. She said, \”To me, they are as lovely as anything I know. The bones appear to pierce something that is vividly alive in the desert right in the middle. The calico fabric flowers that O\’Keeffe included—which were used to adorn graves in New Mexico—further arouses thoughts about life, death, and mortality. She painted views of Manhattan skyscrapers, exploring such formal concerns as light-dark patterning and flat planes.  She went on to create such breathtaking urban nocturnes as \”City Night\”, \”Radiator Building-Night, New York\”, Jimson Weed (White Flower No. 1), Black Iris III, Cow’s Skull: Red, White and Blue, Two Calla Lilies on Pink and Oriental Poppies.


She established herself as an American modernism pioneer with her abstract art. She received recognition for her work, which was an amazing feat in a field where men predominated. She disliked how males interpreted her art and wanted her work to be valued for the way she portrayed the natural world emotionally. People liked her paintings because they were distinctive and difficult to identify the subject of.


Georgia O\’Keeffe died at the age of 98 on March 6, 1986 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She is now regarded as one of the most significant and well-known female artists in American history. She is sometimes referred to as the \”Mother of American Modernism.\” When Georgia O\’Keeffe passed away, the New York Times hailed her as the \”undisputed doyenne of American painting.\” Despite being known for her floral paintings, she also lived among and painted some of the most recognisable landscapes in the nation, including the deserts of New Mexico and the skyscrapers of New York.

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  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_O%27Keeffe
  2. https://www.theartstory.org/artist/okeeffe-georgia/
  3. https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/georgia-okeeffe-6685.php

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