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Georgia O'Keeffe

A. Cow's Skull--Red, White and Blue (1931)

B. Horse's Skull with White Rose (1931)

IV. Considerations of these four works as they indicate forms and themes

The subject of this investigation is the works of Georgia O'Keeffe. We will discuss the use of nature in the works of this artist. There are certain European influences apparent in the works of this artist, and she in turn has had an influence on contemporary painters.

Georgia O'Keeffe was born and raised on a farm in Wisconsin in a family that combined Hungarian and Irish elements. She taught at the University of Virginia and later in another university in Texas. It is from this period that her drawings come (Amon 6). The overall assessment of her art is that it is unique in contemporary America. Her art is individual and expresses personal emotions and perceptions in a style combining strength and crystalline clarity. Her imagery derives from nature, but that nature is interpreted with great freedom. She was a pioneer of native modern art over fifty years ago, and she has continued throughout her career to make major contributions to the art of our time. When she began to study art around 1907, the America art world was completely conservative in outlooks and the revolutionary modern movements growing in importance abroad were still unknown here. The need to make a living pushed O'Keeffe into commercial art first, then into her teaching positions. Her creative career began with a strong sense of self-revelation when she determined to use her work to express feelings and other things that could be said in no other way than with color and shapes. Her subjects were things that she had no words for, and her art had to express them directly and succinctly (Goodrich & Bry 7-9).

Georgia O'Keeffe describes her art thus: "Filling a space in a beautiful way. That is what art means to me" (Kotz 37). It has also been noted that her real power as an artist ha...

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