Georgia O'Keefe Petunias Term Paper

Pages: 3 (896 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

¶ … Petunias" -- Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe was an 20th century American artist who was a central figure in bringing American art to Europe and establishing respect in a community that tended to look down on all things artistic from the United States. She was inspired by the rural Southwest, and was chiefly known for her paintings of flowers, shells, bones and landscapes that offered her the opportunity to synthesize abstraction and representations. O'Keefe could take the most simplistic of natural subjects and, through color, movement, and line, completely transform the object into one of emotional vividness and passion. In fact, in the popular press, many of her floral works are seen as the embodiment of femininity and expressive of the Earth Mother (Messinger).

Because she was so fond of flowers, she found poetry in their color, shape, texture, and above all, size and dignity. She commented that she should paint flowers as she saw them, small or large, but within their own transcendent beauty. One such example of this is her 1925 study in oil "Petunias." O'Keefe completed four studies of Petunias, and this particlar example was one that was from relatively early in her career (Drohojowska-Philp).

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From a purely technical point-of-view we see a grouping of purple petunias in full bloom, clustered. The purple tones vary, from soft lavender to an almost black shade. Like most of her floral paintings, the subject is isolated from not only the natural enviroment (pot, hanging basket or garden) but even from its own stem -- all we see, all we are meant to see, and to focus, is the engulfing view of the flower in its blooming glory. We do not see any imperfections, either -- there are no bruised petals, no insect damage, no sun or moisture, and yet the rendition is neither static nor artifical.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Georgia O'Keefe Petunias Assignment

O'Keefe was part of a uniquely American art movement known as Precisionism, or Cuist Realism. This movement emphasized geometrical form, but was detailed and precise in the depiction of that form. Many of the American precionists, though, used industrialization -- the crisp lines of the modern American landscape, as their emphasis, whereas O'Keefe remained true to her preoccupation with the American Southwest (Precisionism in America) We do not see the typical cubist leanings in Petunias, in fact, in this digital age, one could almost imagine it being a close up digital print. Really, quite simple images of what become monumental form -- or a way to relook at something smallish and common, and find that it is far from common at all.

Emotionally, it seems that O'Keefe's floral studies were her own celebration and translation of nature. Yet the elements of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Georgia O'Keefe Petunias."  Essaytown.com.  October 20, 2010.  Accessed October 21, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/georgia-o-keefe-petunias/5751.