Georgia O'Keeffe American, 1887-1986
Georgia O'Keeffe was among a small handful of the leaders of the early American Avant-Garde movement and for nearly a century has been regarded as the leading American artist of her generation. O'Keeffe trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York in the first decade of the 20th century and burst onto the scene in 1912 when her friend Anita Pollitzer secretively brought to Alfred Stieglitz's attention a dozen drawings O'Keeffe made in black and white of fluid nature-based abstractions. The story of her sexual identity, and her romantic relationship and marriage to Stieglitz are oft noted in her biographical details, but the essence of O'Keeffe's identity are her passion, creativity, and the fiery independence of her spirit. In 1928 it was front page news that a group of six O'Keeffe flower paintings were sold for the princely sum of $25,000 which cemented her stature as the most influential American artist of the first half-century of the new modern era. O'Keeffe is most commonly identified by the rich connection her abstraction tied to the terrain and found objects of New Mexico, New York, and Lake George. Accomplished in watercolor, pastel, and oil, O'Keeffe changed the landscape of American modernism and remains one of the most consequential and illuminating artists of the 20th century.