Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction - Barbara Haskell

I’ve always loved Georgia O’Keeffe’s art, and admired the passion with which she worked and lived. So when the Whitney opened its show, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstractions (Yale Univ., $65), I was as exited as I’d been when I saw the National Gallery’s retrospective after her death. Beginning around 1915, O’Keeffe drew and painted abstract work, influenced by the writings of Arthur Wesley Dow and teachers who spread Dow’s ideas. At the Art Students League, she took classes and explored the galleries, learning techniques and seeing the works of artists like Picasso. During this time she met Alfred Stieglitz, who became her lover and later her husband. O’Keeffe is best known for her images of flowers and cattle skulls, but her abstractions are another impressive side of her talent. When the show comes to the Phillips (which mounted the exhibit in association with the Whitney and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum), early next year, I’ll be able to see these works in yet another setting and again I’ll find something new.