Tell me more!
I love these realistic leaf paintings! The curator would like to encourage you to observe the carefully rendering of the edges of these leaves with the incredibly precise stitches on the nearby blouses O'Keeffe made herself.
I also think it's interesting to note that O'Keeffe, in painting these leaves, was keeping with her nature inspirations, but moving away from the flowers that she is so well known for.
As you may know, many viewers drew comparisons between the flowers and female anatomy, which O'Keeffe did not appreciate.
Can you tell me about this?
O'Keeffe really had an ability to capture the feeling of a place through her use of color.
In this work, O'Keeffe is showing her interest in nature despite moving away from the flower paintings of the earlier part of the 1920s. Here she's still making the delicate details of the leaves much larger than they'd appear in real life.
The pair of leaves reminds me of her still life paintings, which often involve two objects chosen for their shape and color. And the yellows here are really fantastic!
Yes, I love the shades of yellow!
There is also such a sense of depth in the painting, it almost looks like the leaves are three-dimensional.
Tell me more.
This is a great example of how O'Keeffe would enlarge an everyday object to the point of near abstraction! This was one of the paintings that was included in O'Keeffe's first solo museum show, held here at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927!
How did O'Keeffe choose her subjects?
O'Keeffe was often inspired by her environment and objects that she found in it. You can perceive a sense of place from a lot of her work. She would paint fall foliage in Lake George, or shells collected from along the shores of a beach in Bermuda, or bones collected from her walks in the New Mexico desert.
Tell me more.
In this leaf painting by Georgia O'Keeffe I recommend taking a look at the details along the edges of the leaves. While she focused on shape and color, her still lifes maintained a good amount of detail: The same attention to detail you can see in her clothing nearby. Notice how the veins and organic edges mirror the detailing on her blouses. She had the same attention to detail in all areas of life, including her clothing and the decoration of her homes.
It seems that O'Keeffe was determined to break down forms into their most basic colors and shape. It also appears that her quest was not to address a literal observance but rather a philosophical comment.
Absolutely. She would also begin with creating a more naturalistic image but, though returning time and again, she would turn it into something abstract; distilling it.
She once said, "The love of accomplishment is my true reward. I have but one desire as a painter—that is to paint what I see, as I see it, in my own way, without regard for the desires or taste of the professional dealer or the professional collector."
Could you please tell me more about this painting?
Hi! This is a great example of how O'Keeffe was inspired by nature to create paintings that showed single items as she saw them. Here she takes two leaves and makes them very large. Like with her flower paintings, she is making viewers stop and notice these small, everyday aspects of nature.