chantal stone photography: the blog

March 16, 2007

Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction and Three Degrees From Greatness

Filed under: Personal,Photographers/Artists — chantal @ 10:00 am

A Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, Circling Around Abstraction, is opening at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, FL.
©Georgia O’Keeffe

“The exhibition brings together fifty-one of O’Keeffe’s works to illuminate the various and evolving ways she used circular forms and motifs as the means whereby she organized, simplified, and even energized her compositions. Both the exhibition and its catalogue, with every work illustrated in color, will enhance both popular appreciation and scholarly understanding of the artist’s significant contribution to the development of American modernism…

…The title also refers to the specific genre of forms that O’Keeffe drew and to which she returned repeatedly over the entire course of her career: the circle, the oval, and the hypnotic swirl of a whiplash spiral.”

I’ve always been ‘visual’ and my art background began with drawing and painting. I took my first art class when I was 11, and was even awarded a spot for gifted high school students to study figure drawing at the University of Hartford. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I became interested in photography, and even then, from a fine art perspective.

©Georgia O’Keeffe

My art teacher all throughout high school was a true inspiration. She wasn’t so much a ‘teacher’ as she was a guide. Her studio/classroom was a sanctuary for me. All through high school I always felt awkward and out of place, I never really fit in anywhere, but in Ms. Neik’s room, I ruled. Individuality and self-expression were celebrated there, and she was the first person to make me feel it was okay for me to be different.There were no lesson plans, only ‘suggestions’. When the rest of class was moving on to oils, Ms. Neik let me linger with watercolors for an extra 6 weeks. She understood my need to feel the translucent color for a little longer. And when I was ready to move onto oils, Ms. Neik immediately recognized my instant addiction, but since I had other classes and couldn’t hang out in the art room all day, she gave me a set of oils to take home.

©Georgia O’Keeffe

Ms. Neik was a student of Georgia O’Keeffe. I’m not exactly sure of when or where, but the O’Keeffe influence apparent…the circles, the color, the freedom. Georgia O’Keefe was married to Alfred Stieglitz, who pioneered the photography as Art movement.

Georgia & Alfred

Georgia O’Keeffe:A Portrait by Alfred Stieglitz

That’s only three degrees of separation from greatness…cool, huh?


1 Comment »

  1. What a wonderful story and those pictures are very nice. That’s pretty close … 3 degrees!

    Comment by paul — March 16, 2007 @ 11:41 am | Reply

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