O'Keeffe

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By Britta Benke

For seven decades, Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) was a major figure in modern American art. Her fame was not associated with shifting art trends or styles, but rather with her own unique vision, featuring abstract and essential forms in nature.

Her primary subjects were flowers, landscapes and bones. Successive series of these topics produced many variations of an original image. Magnified pictures of irises and calla lilies are among her most famous. Enlarging the tiniest petals to fill an entire canvas, O’Keeffe created a proto-abstract vocabulary of shapes and lines, earning her the moniker “mother of American modernism.” O’Keeffe became the first female artist to be given a solo show at the MoMA in New York, in 1946.

This introductory book traces O’Keeffe’s long and luminous career through key paintings, contemporary photographs, and portraits taken by Alfred Stieglitz, to whom O’Keeffe was married. We follow the artist through her pioneering innovations, major breakthroughs, and her travels and inspirations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, and above all, New Mexico, where she was truly inspired by the majestic landscapes, exotic vegetation and vivid colors.

Each book in Taschen’s Basic Art series features a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance, a concise biography, and approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions.

Hardcover with jacket, 96 pages

Dimensions: 8.5 x 10.5 x 0.5 inches

“She’s a very great artist. Nobody can look at a painting without being deeply affected.” — Ansel Adams

Georgia O'Keeffe's Stables, oil on canvas, 1932, is included in the Detroit Institute of Arts' American Art before 1950 Collection.