According to Chave, artists selected the skyscraper as a subject in the 20th century because they were something new and had out-did anything Europe had done so far. It was “the building of the 20th century”. It was a whole new way of creating art and architecture that was very different from any cathedral in Europe at that time. Art critics like Clement Greenberg commented how New York was “the most industrialized city with the most advanced people.” Artists like Duchamp would rave over New York’s skyscrapers and pretty much rub it in Paris’s face because they had no buildings like it (mostly because they didn’t have a need for them). Duchamp liked to take photos of the skyscrapers, since the camera was invented by this time any way, and it captured the scene even better than painting did. As a matter of a fact, the magnificent structures attracted more photographers than painters at this time. There was however an artist, Robert J. Coady, that believed New York had to be painted because canvas paintings were the medium used for all the centuries before then. He thought the images that were coming from New York photography was spectacular and would have to be preserved historically on canvas, not just simply on film. Other artists like Abraham Walowitz and Joseph Stella had painted the buildings in New York, but in such a way that made it seem like a “Cubist vernacular”. Coady didn’t want New York to be painted and portrayed in this way because of all the new architectures in the city. Instead, he wanted it to be painted in conjunction with the “old, historical buildings”. In other words, he thought that some people were too focused on the new “geometric volume figures” to appreciate the historical structures that were there long before them. Georgia O’Keeffe was ready to take on this challenge.
O’Keeffe did not...