There was an exhibition of O’Keeffe in Louisiana, Denmark in the spring of 2002, as the only place of showing outside of the United States.

As Kandinsky was shown in Stockholm that same spring, it gave me a chance to more deeply examine their connection, and think deeper about Kandinsky’s influence on O’Keeffe’s art.

How could there possibly be a kinship? O’Keeffe – an art teacher from the Wild West, who not until in her sixties had set foot neither in Europe, nor in its museums? Kandinsky – both an art theorist and artist deeply involved in European avant-garde ideas before and even during the world wars. Their art doesn’t even look alike – at least not at first glance.

Although one of the most popular artists in the United States, O’Keeffe has been a bit of an outsider in art history, but in the alternative context of Rosenblum, among symbolists, romantics and as connected with Kandinsky’s prophecy of a new art form, she will be quite a focal point.

How does Georgia O’Keeffe fit into Kandinsky’s theory of the new abstract art that was to come?

I don’t like the sentence above, but I’ll leave it to make a point about why. First of all it demonstrates what art theory is – someone (a writer) uses an artist to prove a point of a theory of art they want to publish.

Secondly, it wasn’t unique to Georgia O’Keeffe to be inspired by the book On The Spiritual In Art. She was part of a society and as a protégé of Alfred Stieglitz, she was also an insider in the most avant-garde group you could find in America in the beginning of the 20th century.

Some similarities are:

  • precision
  • color palettes to a certain degree
  • even motifs

More on this later…


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