Georgia O'Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction

Overview

One of America's most innovative and popular artists, Georgia O'Keeffe is rightfully celebrated as a pioneer who worked in her own style and on her own terms. Perhaps O'Keeffe's most significant contribution to art history was her unique approach to abstraction. From her groundbreaking charcoal drawings of 1915 to her final paintings from the 1970s over the course of a career spanning more than seven decades Georgia O'Keeffe consistently incorporated swirling circular forms into her compositions. Her innovative ...
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Overview

One of America's most innovative and popular artists, Georgia O'Keeffe is rightfully celebrated as a pioneer who worked in her own style and on her own terms. Perhaps O'Keeffe's most significant contribution to art history was her unique approach to abstraction. From her groundbreaking charcoal drawings of 1915 to her final paintings from the 1970s over the course of a career spanning more than seven decades Georgia O'Keeffe consistently incorporated swirling circular forms into her compositions. Her innovative use of this motif as a means of abstraction stands in contrast to the strategies adopted by many of her peers, which tended to be Cubist-based, using straight lines and angles rather than curves and circles. Using the circle and its kin - the ellipse, the oval, the spiral, and the arcing line - O'Keeffe explored the shifting terrain between abstraction and representation, sometimes calling upon them forms to represent a mood, a reaction to a sensation, or the spiritual essence of a subject,
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780943411491
  • Publisher: Hudson Hills Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 132
  • Sales rank: 1,326,172
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 10.77 (h) x 0.73 (d)

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    Georgia O'Keeffe's roots in abstract art

    Fifty-one full page color plates arranged chronologically from 1915 thru the 1970s bring out the 'pulsing, spiraling, swirling circular forms' that O'Keeffe consistently used as a basis for her paintings and drawings and occasional sculptures. Although O'Keeffe did not singularly introduce or use spiral forms, more than any other American or European modern artist, she 'developed an entire vocabulary of circular forms' which identifies her work over her long career. She was too imaginative and innovative to be confined to these forms, but in her paintings of flowers, skies and landscapes, rocks, and her 'pelvic series' in the 1940s, she returns again and again to them. She builds on these with great flourishes, bold colors and shadings for depth, and repetitions and morphings of aspects of circular forms. Stuhlman's essay focuses on circular forms as the basis for O'Keeffe's art throughout her career. Lynes's essay points to the sources for these in the Southwest landscape she was attached to. The focus on O'Keeffe's circular forms goes a long way toward explaining the pleasing, alluring effects of her art works and it adds depth to analysis of them.

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