A History and Art Analysis
Intro to Art
Instructor: Catherine Blackburn
June 20, 2013
History of the Artist
On November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin an artist by the name of Georgia O’Keeffe was born, the second of seven children. Her family members were famers and she grew up not only in Sun Prairie, but also Williamsburg, Virginia. Even as a child, she knew she wanted to be an artist. Georgia and her sister received in home art lessons from a local watercolorist named Sarah Mann. After graduating in 1904 in Virginia, O’Keeffe attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. In 1908, O’Keeffe decided to abandon her dreams of becoming an artist, feeling she could not be successful and began working with commercial art in Chicago. After a four year break from painting, she was inspired again in 1912, by the ideas of Arthur Dow. She was introduced to his innovative ideas of shape and line in a summer class at the University of Virginia. O’Keeffe went on to teach in public schools in Texas and then went on to attend college at Columbia University in 1914-1915. Here she had classes from Dow, who influenced her artworks. In the 1920’s Georgia experimented with showing the raw beauty of flowers in unique form, different than what anyone else had portrayed. In 1924 Georgia married famous photographer, Alfred Stieglitz. Alfred owned a New York art gallery called “291.” Her charcoal drawings were first featured here in 1916, after she sent her work to a former class mate of hers, who passed it along to Stieglitz. Although Alfred was much older than O’Keeffe the marriage lasted over 20 years, up until his death in 1946. Animal bones are seen in her works from the 1930’s and 1940’s, in that time she created many works illustrating the beauty of the vast desert. In 1949, she moved to New Mexico permanently where she created many works of art inspired by the landscape. In 1962 she was elected as a member of the American Academy of Art. In 1970, the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted Georgia O’Keeffe Retrospective Exhibition. Two years later illness left Georgia unable to paint without assistance. She hired a potter by the name of Juan Hamilton. He helped her produce clay works and watercolors. In 1977, President Gerald Ford presented her the Presidents Medal of Freedom. In 1985 she received the Nation Medal of Arts. Georgia moved to Santa Fe in 1984 and died on March 6, 1986 at the age of 98. Her ashes were spread as she wished on the top of Pedernal Mountain.
1926, oil on canvas, 36” x 30”
The pink tulip in the painting by O’Keeffe is characteristic of her style. She paints up close views of the flower, so you can see the raw beauty. There is a combination of both warm and cool colors. There is a high contrast value pattern in this painting. The painting includes organic shapes. You can find visual texture in the work on the leaves and petals from the curved lines. There is diagonal balance, between the darker colors and lighter (tulip). By intensifying the color value in the center of the flower, the bud part, the emphasis makes the bud a focal point. Because the way the flower is viewed, versus the way most people see it, it is expressionistic and abstract. The way she includes warm and cool colors in all parts of the flower creates unity. The illusion of light is shown on the upper right side of the corner where it is almost white. This painting includes analogous colors such as the yellows, green, and blues. Relative size and linear perspective are used to show the three dimensional aspects of the flower. Georgia O’Keeffe is very well known for her close up flower paintings. She portrays them much differently than most people. She shows the beauty in the parts of the flower that normally we don’t take the...
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