By the age of 10 she had decided to become an artist, but her traditional art education discouraged her and at 21 she abandoned the idea, assuming she would never distinguish herself in the strict realist tradition of her teachers. She took up painting again in after four years as a commercial artist. Now aged 25, she attended a summer school at the University of Virginia. Her tutor introduced her to the ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow. Dow was influenced by studies of Japanese art, emphasising composition and design like the Post-Impressionists.
Georgia O'Keeffe - Torso
The Strange and Tragic Love Life of Georgia O’Keeffe | History Daily
Her body of work spans much more than the detailed flowers and desert scenes of the American southwest that she has become known for. In her 98 years on earth, she was a prolific artist and a superstar in the art community. Instead of painting exact replicates of the scenes she saw, she wanted to paint her own interpretation of them, much to the displeasure of her teachers. She left school and taught for several years while refining and perfecting her own artistic style. While chair of the art department at West Texas State Normal College, she painted a series of watercolors of the sunrises and sunsets in a nearby canyon. The vivid colors and shapes in her paintings were unique and caught the attention of a New York gallery owner and art promoter, Alfred Stieglitz.
The artist Georgia O'Keeffe was famously reclusive, and yet gladly sat for hundreds of portraits by her Svengali-like lover and others, now gathered together in a new book. Kathryn Hughes unravels the paradox. For an artist famous for being aloof, reticent, virtually a recluse, Georgia O'Keeffe's face is strikingly familiar. Bearing traces of both her mother's patrician Hungarian ancestry and her father's Irish heritage, O'Keeffe's hybrid beauty seems entirely apt for an artist whose own work has come to stand for a very particular American aesthetic.
If you have questions or comments regarding the text, or wish to obtain a copy of the catalogue from which it is excerpted, please contact the Portland Museum of Art directly through either this phone number or web address:. W hen Georgia O'Keeffe first showed her work in New York in at Alfred Stieglitz's avant-garde gallery, she was virtually unknown as an artist. By the time of her death, some seventy years later, she was among the most famous people in America fig. This exhibition and essay explore the essential role that photography played in establishing her reputation, promoting her career, and creating her public persona.