When Georgia O'Keeffe first visited New Mexico in 1917, she was instantly drawn to the stark beauty of its unusual architectural and landscape forms. In 1929, she began spending part of almost every year painting there, first in Taos, and subsequently in and around Alcalde, Abiquiu, and Ghost Ranch, with occasional excursions to remote sites she found particularly compelling. Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico is the first book to analyze the artist's famous depictions of these Southwestern landscapes.
Beautifully illustrated and gracefully written, the book accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It reproduces the exhibition's 50 paintings and includes striking photographs of the sites that inspired them as well as diagrams of the region's distinctive geology. The book examines the magnificence of O'Keeffe's work through essays by three noted authors. Barbara Buhler Lynes, Curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and organizer of the exhibition, discusses the relationship of the artist's paintings to the places that inspired her.
Frederick Turner offers an illuminating essay contrasting O'Keeffe's fabled aloofness from the well-established art colony in Santa Fe with her intense closeness to the local landscape she so fiercely loved. Lesley Poling-Kempes furnishes a fascinating chronicle of O'Keeffe's years in the region as well as a useful explanation of the geological forces that produced the intense colors and dramatic shapes of the landscapes O'Keeffe painted.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Santa Fe, New Mexico
June 11-September 12, 2004
Columbus Museum of Art
October 1, 2004-January 16, 2005
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Buffalo, New York
January 28-May 08, 2005
"The illustrations are beautifully reproduced, and the book's three essays are intelligent, carefully researched, and elegantly presented."--Roxana Robinson, The Wilson Quarterly
"In her meticulous account, Lesley Poling-Kempes discusses the geophysical origins of this land of 'extremes and contrast,' analyzing the layered stone formations and matching them up with O'Keeffe's keen observations of red shales, sandshales and silt stones created 200 million years ago. . . . Frederich W. Turner steps more intimately into O'Keeffe's preserve, discussing her eccentricities, her remoteness from others sharing the land . . . and the mythology she did much to create. . . . Once installed in New Mexico, though, she became an authentic new conquistador, he concludes, and entered her true final domain."--Dore Ashton, Times Literary Supplement
"This book will significantly contribute to our understanding of this phase of O'Keeffe's life and accomplishments. Lynes' essay, in particular, opens up a new aspect of the artist's work. She revisits the landscapes that inspired much of O'Keeffe's artistry, comparing each carefully with its corresponding painted rendition. She discovers how the artist walks the fine line between specific observation and playful abstraction. Her careful consideration of each pictorial structure makes us see the lengths to which O'Keeffe went in order to make these landscape forms speak to her."--Kathleen Pyne, University of Notre Dame
Table of Contents:
Director's Foreward 7
Georgia O'Keefe and New Mexica: A Sense of Place by Barbara Buhler Lynes 11
A Sense of Place I: Toas, Alcalde, Tierra Azul, Ghost Ranch, Black Place 59
A Call to Place by Lesley Poling-Kempes 77
A Sense of Place II: Chama River, White Place, Abiquiu, Ghost Ranch 89
On Her Conquest of Space by Frederick W. Turner 109
Suggestions for Further Reading 134
Photography Credits 143
Copublished with the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe