Georgia O’Keeffe and her giant flowers: biography and paintings
Georgia O’Keeffe (Georgia Totto O’Keeffe; November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) is an American modernist artist of the 20th century, whose biography spans almost a century. Georgia O’Keeffe became famous for her mysterious paintings with large-scale flowers. Her work also includes unusual desert and city landscapes, images of animal bones.
Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe is a native of the US state of Wisconsin. The future artist was born on a dairy farm on November 15, 1887. Soon the family moved to Virginia, as her mother wanted to give her seven children a good education. Georgia O’Keeffe dreamed of becoming an artist since childhood. Fortunately, the parents did not interfere with this. In 1905, after graduating from school, the girl entered the Art Institute in Chicago, but her studies had to be interrupted due to typhus, which was raging in the United States at that time. After recovering, O’Keeffe changed her plans and went to New York in 1907 to study at the Art Students League. Georgia O’Keeffe has achieved success in the art of still life, won competitions, learned to notice beauty in the smallest detail.
After graduation, the girl began to teach classes at Columbia College, South Carolina. Her abstract charcoal drawings went to Alfred Stieglitz, a talented photographer and art lover. He was delighted with these works and exhibited them in his gallery. And after a personal meeting with Georgia, the masters were fascinated not only by the works, but also by the artist herself. O’Keeffe moved to New York with Alfred, who left his wife for her. In 1917, Stiglitz organized a personal exhibition for his beloved. In the 1920s. the artist began to paint her famous huge flowers. She painted plants from nature, while increasing them many times, conveying admiration for the power of nature, which is hidden even in such a miniature and fragile creation. The husband organized exhibitions and was engaged in the sale of Georgia’s works. Giving her the opportunity to completely immerse herself in creativity.
In addition to plants, O’Keeffe was also interested in bones. She loved to collect them while walking through the sandy fields. In these objects, the artist saw not an association with death, but a striving for the absolute, something that will never disappear. The bones in Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings look like abstraction. Often favorite images are combined in one work.
Another theme of creativity was the image of New York skyscrapers. These paintings are distinguished by verified geometry, photographic quality, non-standard perspective, emptiness of deserted space.
In 1929, the marriage with Stiglitz broke up due to his passion for a young student, although in subsequent years the artist and the photographer, after mutual betrayal, periodically reconciled. The ex-husband continued to exhibit works of Georgia. After Alfred’s departure from life, O’Keeffe settled on a ranch in New Mexico. The virgin desert landscapes of these places inspired her to new masterpieces.
At the end of the 1960s. the artist began to lose her eyesight. Instead of painting, she switched to sculpture. Georgia O’Keeffe died on March 6, 1986 in Santa Fe.
The most famous paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe
- The artist’s bright, refined works are distinguished by harmony, rhythm, and simplified forms. Among the most significant paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, the following are worth highlighting:
- “New York Street with the Moon” (1925) – one of the many views of the huge city of skyscrapers. The artist portrayed him in the light of her feelings, reflecting her love for the metropolis.
- “Radiator Building at Night, New York” (1927) – also refers to New York painting. The work was a reaction to an excited, relentlessly energized city.
- “Two calla lilies on pink” (1928) – the picture shows the images of the artist’s favorite flowers, which have become a kind of emblem of her work. The buds are so close to the viewer that the edges of their petals were “cut off”.
- “The Skull of a Cow: Red, White and Blue” (1931) – in the work the author uses the colors of the American flag that were popular in those years.
- Datura (1932) – The masterpiece became the most expensive painting ever created by a woman and sold for $ 44.4 million at auction in 2014.
Georgia O’Keeffe is a prominent figure in American modernism. Her paintings are still sold for fantastic money. Visitors to the Very Important Lot portal can find out the biographies of other famous painters, purchase their works and other masterpieces of antiques by participating in online art auctions. It is worth paying attention to the work of contemporary artists, especially since you can buy paintings at an inexpensive price directly from the authors.