Georgia O’Keeffe essay

Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most popular painters of the 20th century. Her works were characterized by the high quality and traditionally attracted the public attention. At the same time, the career of this artist is really interesting since Goergia O’Keeffe was one of the first female artists that gained the public recognition and the world acclaim. In this respect, it is worthy of mention that fact that she started to work at the beginning of the 20th century, the epoch when the feminist movement progressed but still the position of women in society was quite weak. This is why Georgia O’Keeffe, being a female artist, had to work even harder than male artists in order to overcome the existing stereotypes and biases and the success of her works proved that she was a really talented artist.

Speaking about the development of her artistic career, it is necessary to point out that Georgia O’Keeffe was always interested in art and her education was entirely focused on painting. However, it is necessary to underline that her career was under a great threat because, despite successes in painting when she was a student, Georgia O’Keeffe could not live for painting only. Basically, the financial troubles of her family forced her to give up painting and that was a period when her future brilliant career seemed to be close to end. However, she started to paint again in 1912 under the impact of ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow which she was firstly acquainted with after the attendance of a class at theUniversityofVirginia Summer School.

In fact, it is possible to estimate that these innovative ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow influenced considerably her future artistic work and her style. This is why it is important to underline that Dow encouraged artist to fully realize themselves regardless any social or cultural biases existing in the real world. He insisted that the true painter should express him/herself through harmonious compositions and contrast of light and dark. It is worthy of mention that these were the characteristic of the majority of paintings created by Georgia O’Keeffe in her future works.

Basically, her first works were executed in watercolors. This was typical for her early career and paintings she created being a student. Her interest in watercolors was, to a significant extent, influenced by her impression from the works of other artists. For instance, Rodin’s works whose exhibition she attended in 1908. By the way, it is worthy of mention that this exhibition was organized by her future husband Alfred Stieglitz who paid a lot of attention to modern art and often supported perspective artists. Georgia O’Keeffe was not an exception and due to Stieglitz she had managed to create her major works, make a considerable progress as an artist, and, what is more, exhibit her works.

It is due to the assistance of Stieglitz she moved toNew Yorkwhere she had better opportunities to develop and realize her talent. In 1924 they married and this marked the beginning of an extremely productive period in her work. At the same time, it is worthy of mention that as she moved to New York, she started to paint in oil and during 1920-s the major subjects of her works were natural and architectural forms which she attempted to depict in a natural harmony underlying the main subject due to the use of contrasting colors (Dreikausen 164). In this respect, it is possible to refer to her probably the famous early work “Petunia” painted in 1924. Probably she was inspired by her relationship and marriage with Stieglitz. In this painting, the artist depicted the large-scale flower focusing the viewer’s attention on it and, at the same time, underlying its natural beauty.

Her first works soon became popular and the role of Stielitz was quite important since it was him who actually helped the painter to exhibit her works and made her known to the wide public (Robinson 120). On the other hand, her popularity was the consequence of her hard work and her talent since her paintings were traditionally positively perceived by the audience. In this respect, it is possible to mention her “Red Canna”, which was also based on the contrast of bright colors where the harmony of light and dark affected profoundly the emotions of the audience.

The 1930s were characterized by the profound interest of the artist in architectural and landscape forms that was probably the consequence of her life on the Ghost Ranch which cliffs really inspired Goergia O’Keeffe (Stewart 306).

In fact, the architectural forms became the subjects of her paintings for the following couple of decades when the artist polished her talent and grow not only more popular but also richer.

However, by the early 1970s, her eyesight had started to deteriorate considerably so that she could hardly work. This is why she created her last unassisted painting in oil in 1972, but continued to work in watercolor and charcoal until 1978 (Lynes 227). In fact, she continued to work practically until the end of her life and even attempted to experiment working in graphite until 1984 (Messinger 158) but her latest work were merely known to the wide public.

Thus, in conclusion, it is possible to say that Goergia O’Keeffe was a really gifted painter who attempted to convey the harmony of the surrounding world and nature to viewers and affect their emotions through the use of contrasting colors. Her works brought her world acclaim and popularity.

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