Georgia O Keeffee Research Paper

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Georgia O’Keffee and John Marin: An Exploration The American Transcendentalists of the nineteenth century believed the key to spiritual enlightenment lay in the study of nature and natural forms -- in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "to look at the world with new eyes." At Alfred Stieglitz’s Intimate Gallery, a legendary photographer and art dealer, is where the circle of artists that he managed and represented enveloped themselves in the essential belief in the purity of an unrestricted vision. Rather than create an exact likeness of nature, these artists, including Stieglitz's wife, Georgia O'Keeffe, attempted to reduce it to its most essential forms, which then served as a framework upon which to express and interpret their individual…show more content…
In it she captured the enormity of her experience with solemn reverence, allowing the endless blackness of the ocean to shroud the entire composition in mystery.” (Messinger 90) Messinger goes on to say that, “Only the bright white spot of light in the distance and the foamy spray of water at the shoreline indicate any sense of spatial recession.” (90) She was a phenomenal technician and her treatment of white is just like that of colors. O’Keeffe was most attracted to things in nature that are boundless, timeless, and eternal; perhaps it is this union with nature she conveys that makes O’Keeffe so beloved as people can relate to her work. They have experienced nature being so beautiful that words can’t describe it; only a representation of an experience can truly express it. O’Keeffe’s Wave Night (Figure 1) is an example of one of her reductive landscapes, in which she paints the simple forms and deep colors of the landscape. Here she uses a palette of deep blues and purples to illustrate a nighttime seascape. O’Keeffe’s view of the vast and mysterious sea gives way to the cosmos itself, anchored by the barely visible circle of the lighthouse, almost like the moon, at the very top. The painting connects man, earth, sea, and sky, elements with biblical…show more content…
That may be partly because he specialized in the relatively modest medium of watercolor. But more important, unlike, Georgia O'Keeffe, he was not a strong image maker. But it is his sophisticated play with abstraction and the process of painting rather than imaginative vision or emotional resonance that distinguishes his art. Examining Marin’s paintings shows the amazing imaginative range and technical spontaneity that Marin brought to etchings, oils, and especially watercolors — which comprise 80% of his known works. Marin’s highly individual style was a combination from the precedents of Paul Cézanne, German Expressionism, and early Cubism. Unlike O’Keffee who drew largely upon Arthur Wesley Dow, Wassily Kandinsky, Auguste Rodin, Art Noveau Asian Art, and of course Modernism. Throughout his life, Marin's favorite themes were city and nature; he painted only a handful of portraits or still lifes. Marin's grandest paintings approach both city and wilderness with a soaring reverence, often by recording his evolving responses to a new
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