Renowned Art
Georgia O'Keeffe Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
O'Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. During the 1920s, her large canvasses of lush overpowering flowers filled still lifes with dynamic energy and erotic tension, while her cityscapes were testaments to subtle beauty within the most industrial circumstances. She married Alfred Stieglitz in 1922. For the next twenty years the two would live and work together, Steiglitz creating an incredible body of portraits of O'Keeffe, while O'Keeffe showed new drawings and paintings nearly every year at his gallery. When Steiglitz in 1946 died, O'Keeffe took up permanent residence Taos. In 1977 her she received the Medal of Freedom, and in 1985 she received the Medal of the Arts.
Red, White, and Blue
White Rose with Larkspur
Green Patio Door


Cottonwood III, 1944
Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 X 291/4" (49.53 x 74.30 cm.) Unsigned
Butler Institute of American Art

Cottonwood III, executed in 1944 and first exhibited at An American Place in 1945, depicts the New Mexico landscape, here the ubiquitous cottonwood trees that line the riverbed of Abiquiu, the town which became O'Keeffe's winter home in 1945. The composition of the painting differs from the more stark, dramatic work of the 1930s and adopts a less abstract, less geometric, more naturalistic approach. Although painted late in O'Keeff's career, the technique of the piece refers to the work of the American Impressionist, William Merritt Chase, with whom O'Keeffe studied at the Art Students League in 1907-08. A master of outdoor Impressionism, Chase painted many beach scenes of Shinnecock, Long Island, which resemble Cottonwood III, both in their soft handling of form and in their use of green and blonde tonalities. While the forms have been simplified, Cottonwood III might almost be taken for a turn- of-the -century American Impressionist painting. O'Keeffe enjoyed her study with Chase, recalling that, "There was something fresh and energetic and fierce and exacting about him that made him fun."
Cottonwood III relates not only to Chase's work, but to the early canvases which O'Keeffe produced under Chase's tutelage. In 1908, Chase awarded O'Keeffe a prize for the painting Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot (1908, Art Students League). This painting, executed very much in Chase's style, depicted a still-life, one of Chase's specialties. Although different in subject matter, there are many technical similarities between Cottonwood III and Dead Rabbit and Copper Pot. Both paintings are based on calculated contrasts between hard and soft forms, as well as clear and diffuse edges. In Cottonwood III, O'Keeffe recalls techniques she had developed years before, while studying with Chase.
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