Georgia O’Keeffe: The Revolutionary Abstractionist

Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Series I, No. I, from 1918, found at the Amon Carter Museum, was made during a pivotal point in the artist’s early professional career. The label that accompanies this painting somewhat addresses this fact, but fails to recognize anyone else’s influence on her art, except for Arthur Dow. Although he was a major influence on her, the museum label marginalizes the other modernists who contributed to her personal style. The catalyst to O’Keeffe’s abstract style was one of her first art teachers, Alon Bement, who introduced her to other innovators of modern art, including, Wassily Kandinsky, James McNeill Whistler, and Alfred Stieglitz. Dow instilled his principles of painting in her as a student, and she continued to paint by those same principles throughout her career. Although Dow’s influence is apparent in Series I, No. I, the painting is actually a culmination of his and other modernists influence on O’Keeffe during the early stages of her professional career, as a close examination of her early professional career and the painting will prove.

Formal Analysis: Georgia O’Keeffe, “Series I, No. I” (1918)

The Amon Carter Museum has a wide variety of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings in their permanent collection, spanning almost her entire career. Series I, No. I from 1918, an oil on canvas painting measuring 20×16 inches, is from the early part of her career as a professional artist. O’Keeffe utilizes abstract forms and a wide variety … Continue reading