Georgia O'Keeffe - Purple Hills near Abiquiu

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Purple Hills near Abiquiu was the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe in 1935. Abiquiu is positioned in New Mexico, U.S. The medium used is oil on canvas. The oil on canvas was at the time an artist utilized painting medium for her work of art. She used oil on canvas throughout the three dimensional period. The dimension is 16 x 30 inch. In 1935, Georgia O'Keeffe painted Purple Hills near Abiquiu that was once her bleakest and most attractive landscape (Wagner 7). It featured darkish things in the midst of the glare of the desert, stormy clouds and gloomy shadows. This essay critically analyzes the Purple Hills near Abiquiu by Georgia O’Keeffe.


Georgia O'Keeffe grew up on a farm in the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and lived in Chicago, New York, Texas, and Virginia. She spent summers in Abiquiu in New Mexico. She is considered as a greatly powerful modernist painter that pushes the precincts of American artistic style through the abstraction of flowers, landscapes, rocks and bones (Goodstein 225). Georgia O'Keeffe mastered the imitative realism in New York. She was introduced to Arthur Dow's ideas by Alon Bement of Teachers College when in Virginia. Dow was an educator and an artist who trusted that the main objective of art was the expression of personal feelings and ideas of the artist. This was best achieved through the harmonious arrangements of color, line, and balance of dark and light (O’Keeffe & Doris 5). She developed an individual vocabulary of conceptual forms and composition strategies in the acquisition of the principles that were taught by Dow. Dow promoted an imaginative and intellectual process of making art centered in individual expression and design that is harmonious.

Georgia O'Keeffe has used distinct forms, colors, and lines in her work of art to strengthen the properties of each element and generate a more dynamic expressiveness. Her shapes, colors, and patterns are tangible evidence that are projected from within and of her mood's internality. They are self-determining of the outer world and are sustained by an unsystematic flow of incommunicable and private affiliations (Zakian 70). The work of art of Purple Hills near Abiquiu was rapidly accepted, and some individuals viewed it as purely aesthetic whereas other individuals viewed it as a forum started to address the contemporary issues.

Miss O'Keeffe's paintings and drawings show an inner law of harmony owing to their composition. The paintings near Abiquiu display the landscape as a series of layers that are receding. It appears that the expansive space and the monumental images of the huge mountain ranges were profoundly impressed in the mind of Georgia O'Keeffe (Chave 88).

Subject Matter and Form

Purple Hills near Abiquiu by Georgia O'Keefe occurred during the twentieth century. It began at the turn of the twentieth century particularly between the World War I and the Second World War and continued to the 21st century. It portrays American identity, socialism, embracing technology, realism and the expressionism desire to experiment in America. This work depicts American modernism. It shows the artistic and cultural movement that commenced in the U.S around the twentieth century. The technological and economic progress throughout the interwar era led to the American modernism that was a movement which favored abstraction (Chave 90). American modernism affirmed the ability of human beings to generate, enhance and redesign their milieu through the use of technology, practical experimentation, and scientific knowledge hence optimistic and progressive. The modernism bridged the gap that existed between the socially diverse audience and art in the U.S.

Georgia O'Keeffe has used the aesthetically pleasing line of the German Expressionist painter Franz Marc in her Purple Hills near Abiquiu to generate a landscape which nearly appears to be animate in that it has the ability to move and breathe similar to Marc’s animals (Chave 93). The painting lays emphasis on texture, color, line, and shape. The art has geometric, horizontal, thick and vertical lines. The vertical lines display height and growth while the horizontal lines show solidarity and stability. There is somewhat a vibrating energy among the dark and light regions that is provoked by the occurrence of the natural landscape incessantly unfolding.


The content of Purple Hills near Abiquiu work of art is the content landscape in the New Mexico. The landscape appears alive and moving (Cowart & Juan 4). According to Lewis Mumford, Georgia O'Keeffe has melded individual feelings with the worldly reality thus established an iconography which conveys the allegorical significance to the mundane. The iconography is greatly introspective, personal and mysterious hence delineate the best creation of American art and centered on real American experiences owing to their nature that is highly personal. The works of Georgia O'Keeffe depicts the look of her time. However, more significantly the paintings of O'Keeffe demonstrate the characteristics that go past the contour of place and time to the domain of the universal (Eldredge and O'Keeffe 165).

According to Eldredge, the paintings of O'Keeffe provoke the collective sensation of euphoric release into the other world. She regards the art by Georgia O'Keeffe's as spiritual owing to the motifs of folds that express the most unfathomable realities (Eldredge and O'Keeffe 165). In my opinion, O'Keeffe's art exposes a new interpretation of color and form. Her painting sheds light on the psychic and emotional situations of the audience that was essential to the creation of an American identity.


Georgia O’Keeffe was successful in providing the viewer a meaningful aesthetic experience. The power of artwork by Georgia O'Keeffe originates from her mastery of vital constituents of art making that include color, composition, and line. O'Keeffe generated a strong and vibrant art work with colors which glow with vitality and energy. She is pushing the precincts with forms and lines that race off the canvas's edge, nonetheless in some way she constantly manages to uphold the sense of stability and create works that are visually appealing (Chave 102). Georgia O’Keeffe art greatly contributed to the awareness and self-consciousness of the individuals in America.
Georgia O’Keeffe artistic practice was appropriate since she had well-organized drawing practice, unique sense for composition and dramatic color palette through drawings and paintings that span her profession. Her facility with media such as oil and watercolor along with her sense for color, composition, and line made her generate deceptively uncomplicated art works (Wagner 23). She visualized her deep sense of her connectedness to the nature in which nature acts as an ever-munificent wellspring of pleasure, inspiration, and solace. On the other hand, the viewer may have difficulty in relating the painting with the current happenings in the society. Moreover, the viewer may fail to observe and comprehend the significance of the paintings in illuminating and celebrating the uncanny attractiveness of the silences which fold themselves into the ability of nature to prevail over the closely protected distances amongst selfhood of individuals in the society (Zakian 83). This artwork makes me wonder how Georgia O’Keeffe utilized it to create awareness amongst the American people and express American modernism.


The significance of O'Keeffe's pseudo-modern art is nearly exclusively symptomatic and historical. It exhibits important errors that are very importance due to the context, time and place wherein they were made. Georgia O'Keeffe’s art has diminutive intrinsic value because the dexterity with which she puts a picture within its frame puts forth some inevitable charm that can clarify her popularity. Nevertheless, the utmost portion of her art work adds up to a small above the tinted photography. She has expended high patience in decorating, breathing upon and shining the opaque cellophane let down the issue which is less concerned with art in comparison to a private worship and decoration of private engrossment with undisclosed and unpredictable meanings. The importance of Georgia O'Keeffe's Purple Hills near Abiquiu is that O'Keeffe uses the aesthetically pleasing line of Marc, the German Expressionist to build a landscape that almost appears to be animate thus showing modernism.

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Work Cited

Chave, Anna C. "" Who Will Paint New York?":" The World's New Art Center" and the Skyscraper Paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe." American Art 5.1/2 (1991): 87-107.

Cowart, Jack & Juan Hamilton. Georgia O’Keeffe: Art and Letters, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (1987): 4

Eldredge, Charles C., and Georgia O'Keeffe. Georgia O'Keeffe: American and Modern. Yale University Press, 1993.

Goodstein, Ethel S. "Georgia O'Keeffe's New Mexico: The Artist's Vision of the Land and Its Architecture." Pueblo Style and Regional Architecture (2015): 225.

O'Keeffe, Georgia, and Doris Bry. Some Memories of Drawings. Atlantis Editions Book, 1988.

Wagner, Anne Middleton. Three artists (three women): Modernism and the art of Hesse, Krasner, and O'Keeffe. Univ of California Press, 1998.

Zakian, Michael. "Agnes Pelton and Georgia O’Keeffe: The Window and the Wall." Illumination: the Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce: 69-85.

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