Author(s): Tanya Barson (ed)
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) was one of the foundational figures of American modernism. A seminal woman artist, she rose to prominence in the early twentieth century at the heart of the New York avant-garde circle that centred around Alfred Stieglitz, who would become O'Keeffe's husband. Many contemporary texts, as well as those written since, focus on their personal and professional relationship, and have re-hashed familiar cliches about O'Keeffe's work, particularly her best-known paintings of flowers. As this new book reveals, however, she was a complex and multi-faceted artist whose singular vision included landscapes, nature studies, still lifes and anthropological paintings, and who constantly experimented at the boundary between figuration and abstraction. Accompanying a major touring exhibition, this book brilliantly reassesses O'Keeffe's place in the canon of twentieth-century art. It features essays from a new generation of scholars, focusing on themes including O'Keeffe's place within the early modern avant-garde; the construction of identity and artistic persona; the influence of the cultures and landscapes of the places in which she worked; and the relationship between painting and photography, both within O'Keeffe's work and as part of her wider nexus of friends and fellow-artists, from Stieglitz to Paul Strand and Ansel Adams. The book will also feature reviews from the time of O'Keeffe's early exhibitions to give a contemporary insight into their reception. Lavishly illustrated with many rarely reproduced works and a full illustrated chronology, this is the definitive book on one of the most significant and popular artists of modern times.
Tanya Barson is Curator of International Art at Tate Modern. Hannah Johnston is Assistant Curator at Tate Modern. Cody Hartley is Director of Curatorial Affairs at the O'Keeffe Museum