“I can never bear to have people around me when I’m working, or to let anybody see what I’m doing or say anything about it until it’s finished.” - Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe was notoriously private about her artistic practice and was never eager to say much about her aesthetic ideas.
Besides the fact that she was a woman, nothing caused more confusion about O’Keeffe’s art than the idea of “abstraction.” The endless wrangling over the status of her images — whether they were abstract or realist — distracted from what she was really doing: experimenting.
At a time when modern artists were eager to deploy the freedom of expressive brushstrokes, O’Keeffe chose not to follow the trend. Instead, she preferred to explore the properties of paint itself - how, it mixed and bonded to the surface, the ways different mediums could be made opaque or transparent, glossy or matte, smooth or chalky.
Whether large scale oil paintings, or small, intimate watercolors, O’Keeffe loved the stuff of artmaking, and she loved the ritual. She was a consummate creative explorer. .
What do you see in this O’Keeffe Abstraction? Let us know in the comments! 💙 .
Georgia O'Keeffe. Untitled (Abstraction Orange Curve and Circles), 1970s. Watercolor on paper, 30 1/2 x 22 inches. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation. © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. [2006.5.529]
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