Georgia O’Keeffe

1627 Words7 Pages
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most famous and controversial painters known to America. According to art critic Lisa Mintz Messinger, “She [Georgia O’Keeffe] left behind a rich legacy of American images that were tied to the land. These images and her own pioneering spirit, established an illustrious reputation in America very early on in her career” (Messinger 17). O’Keeffe is best known for her large paintings of flowers, the New York skyline and scenes from New Mexico. Ever since Georgia O’Keeffe began showing her work in 1916, critics have had different opinions on what her paintings represented. One of the biggest debates regarding her paintings has been whether or not her paintings were erotic. Some of the biggest critics of her works are Robert Hughes, Lisa Mintz Messinger, Katherine Hoffman and Georgia O’Keeffe herself. All four of these people have helped shape O’Keeffe into an iconic figure of sexually charged paintings. Georgia O’Keeffe first came into the lime light after her friend Anita Pollitzer submitted some of O’Keeffe’s works to the famous Alfred Stieglitz (Hoffman 5). Even from these first charcoal drawings, critics noticed the eroticism in her works of art. One of the biggest critics of her work is the noted Robert Hughes. In his book, American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America, Hughes explores American artists’ works, including O’Keeffe. According to Hughes, “Much ink has been spilled on the topic of whether O’Keeffe ever set out to use specifically genital images; she herself indignantly denied it, and especially refused to countenance any sexual interpretation of the large close-ups of flowers she painted in the twenties. To deny the sexuality of a painting like Black Iris III, 1926,... ... middle of paper ... ...a Bricker. “Review: Stieglitz.” Stieglitz 55.2 (1996): 105-106. Web. 23 October 2009. Cowart, Jack, et al. Georgia O'Keeffe: Art and Letters. Washington; Boston: National Gallery of Art; New York Graphic Society Books, 1987. Print. Hoffman, Katherine, and Georgia O'Keeffe. An Enduring Spirit: The Art of Georgia O'Keeffe. Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1984. Print. Hughes, Robert. American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America. 1st ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1997. Print. Messinger, Lisa Mintz, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Georgia O'Keeffe. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001. Print. Middleton, Ken.“1920’s: American Women through Time.” N.d. Web. 25 Sep. 2009. “Introduction to Modern Art.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 18 June 2009. Web. 25 Sep. 2009.
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