As Georgia discovered Taos and New Mexico on a trip in the spring of 1929, she found the landscape that would inspire her for the rest of her life.
O’Keeffe: Road to the Ranch, 1964
A New Frontier
Although admitted to the Union as the 47th state, by the U.S. congress in January of 1912, the area was a vast wilderness, as Georgia and her friend Beck Strand arrived by train, with no such comforts as the telephone or electricity.
O’Keeffe bought a house at Ghost Ranch 1940, and an old adobe hacienda in Abiquiu in 1945. She began to paint simplified architecture details of these houses as well simplified and abstract interpretations of the surrounding landscape.
On a visit to Georgia O’Keeffe’s home in Abiquiu, it became clear that the colors of the landscape are not a fantasy, but are completely authentic. I visited her home in Abiquiu, that is situated on a hill where the studio has a wonderful wide window and faraway view. Nearby are those typical red and yellow hills and cliffs, the Cerro Pedernal, the Chama river, the “white place” seen towards the northeast from her studio window and also the black hills in the Navajo area.
There it was easy to se how she could find peace and inspiration. Her own irrigation system throughout the garden made it possible to grow her own apples, vegetables – and flowers.
Maybe tired of the New York art world and it all, she found her way back to the person she was before she knew Stieglitz here, her authentic self. This after years and years of being in the limelight as some kind of symbol for sexual, sensual art – an image created by the men around her.
True to her soul, the abstract elegant lines and strong colors are still there, just like in her flowers, but now in the surrounding landscapes, just more in a macro scale.
An art still very sensual, tranquil and pleasing for the visual senses to enjoy.
Spiritual, but staying subtle about it.