Georgia O'Keeffe

(1887-1986)

Georgia O'Keeffe studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1905-6), Art Students League (1907-8) and at Columbia (1914-16) as well as being awarded many honorable degrees from various universities. She was one of the most important American Modernists, known best for her Southwestern landscapes of desert objects and flowers. In 1918, O'Keeffe resigned from her position at West Texas College to purse painting in New York City after her work had been shown to Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz organized O'Keeffe's first exhibit at his gallery, An American Place, and continued to support and exhibit her work until his death. They were married in 1924 and O'Keeffe painted her famous Manhattan skyscrapers the year after.

In 1929 she began to visit New Mexico in the summers and exhibited the first of her Southwestern works in 1930. She found inspiration for her animal pelvic bone paintings here in 1943 and eventually moved to New Mexico by 1949. The flowers that O'Keeffe painted were usually seen from a frontal view with petals like human flesh. Her Southwestern paintings combine lush color with stark austerity and reveal many Mexican-American religious symbols. Bleached animal bones are arranged in canyon settings with crosses. Her work has had a lasting impression on Modernism with its amazing color harmony and flat patterning style.