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Georgia Okeeffe

By | May 2006
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Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe was the American woman who painted in the ways of the abstract realist. She was famous for painting many kinds of flowers, bones, caves as well as city scapes and buildings. The most interesting issue is that she reduced all her paintings to the elemental form of her subjects. It wasn't a replication of reality, but rather a celebration of all the forms, colors, and lines that come together in our world. One interesting aspect of her work is that many critics say that O'Keefe's big bright flower paintings hint at a woman's sexuality. They claim that her flowers take after vaginas. I believe this is not the case. Georgia was simply painting these flowers in their simplest, elemental form. For starters, I looked at one of her paintings that one may say mirrored after a woman's genitalia. It is the painting called "Jack in the Pulpit" No. IV (1930). For starters we can see the lines are vertical sloping curves. There is a straight line in the middle coming from an organic oval shape. The petals of the flower on the top form a kind of circular dome over the straight vertical line. The texture of this flower painting seems soft, and smooth-like a close up photograph of this flower. The colors are all very cool. The flower petals are dark navy, with hints of lighter bluish green coming up through the petal folds. There is a bright white line that splits the flower in half. There also is light blue and white shading coming from the navy oval shape near the base. The only object seen in this painting the flower itself-and we don't even see the whole flower. It is such a close up point of view that the edges of the petals are cut off. This particular painting seems to be that of a lily.

The balance of this painting is symmetrical because the bright white line in the middle sort of cuts it in half. Each side of the painting is similar. The light areas appear in the middle and top of the painting. The focal point is...

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