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                                       Georgia O'Keeffe

       Georgia O’Keeffe, American abstract painter, famous for the purity and lucidity of her still-life compositions. O'Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and studied at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League of New York City. She taught art in Texas from 1913 to 1918. In 1916 the American photographer and art gallery director Alfred Stieglitz (whom she married in 1924) became interested in her abstract drawings and exhibited them at 291, his gallery in New York City; her work was shown annually in Stieglitz's galleries until his death in 1946 and was widely exhibited in other important institutions.

        O'Keeffe is best known for her large paintings of desert flowers, sun-bleached animal skulls, and New Mexico landscapes. On her first visit in 1929, she fell in love with the stark beauty of the New Mexican desert, and moved there in 1949. In her paintings she typically presented single blossoms or objects such as a cow's skull in close-up views. Although O'Keeffe handled her subject matter representationally, the starkly linear quality, the thin, clear coloring, and the boldly patterned compositions produce abstract designs. A number of her works have an abstracted effect, the flower paintings in particular — such as Black Iris (1926, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City — in which the details of the flower are so enlarged that they become unfamiliar and surprising.

     In the 1960s, inspired by a series of airplane flights, O'Keeffe introduced motifs of sky and clouds, as seen from the air, into her paintings. One of her largest works is the mural Sky Above Clouds IV (1965, Art Institute of Chicago), which is 2.4 m (8 ft) tall by 7.3 m (24 ft) wide. O'Keeffe's paintings hang in museums throughout the United States. In 1997 the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the world’s largest public collection of works by O’Keeffe.

Source: Cited from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia with revisions.

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