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Article in Salon: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Gender Debate

Georgia O'Keeffe art

“O’Keeffe perhaps didn’t need Stieglitz to achieve her artistic prime. Maybe she would’ve found herself in New Mexico fueled by Nature and its rugged beauty faster without him. Whether or not the world would’ve embraced a woman and her art without his controversial influence is another question. Today, would we say Georgia O’Keeffe is a great woman artist, or a great artist?” – my article in Salon, July 16, 2016

In February this year, I started a blog post about Georgia O’Keeffe with this:

“I remember the first time I came across Georgia O’Keeffe in high school art class. Her paintings of Southwestern-themed landscapes and cow skulls made an impression, but the color-saturated forms of her flower close-ups are images I can still see in my head. Her work is unique, brilliant. I love her poppies, their gigantic shapes and ripples and forms. Every time I see a Georgia O’Keeffe, I pause. I guess that would make me a lifelong fan.”

If that was true then, it’s even truer now.

Georgia O'Keeffe art
Georgia O’Keeffe, Series 1 No. 8, source Wikimedia Commons

In March 2016, I learned a complete retrospective of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work would be on exhibit at the Tate Modern in London beginning in July, this month. But that’s not all — Stieglitz’s work of O’Keeffe would be at the Tate Modern to accompany her exhibition, as well. That, to me, meant someone needed to say something, to give his pictorial commentary context, to open up discussion on what his work did in the reception of hers. His portraits of her, many of them nude before she began to wake up and refuse, changed the perceived meaning of her art for the past 100 years.

I spent time immersed in the analysis and writing of O’Keeffe scholar, Barbara Buhler Lynes, and, paired with the novel Georgia by Dawn Tripp (which I loved), began to formulate how O’Keeffe’s story is relevant to our time.

Article in Salon

The result: my article has been published by Salon on July 16, 2016, entitled: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Gender Debate: Can a Woman Be Great, or Only a Great Woman?

A new retrospective at London’s Tate Modern reignites an ongoing fight about how we qualify women’s achievements

I am beyond delighted!

4 thoughts on “Article in Salon: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Gender Debate

  1. Loved your brilliant Salon Article, ‘Georgia O’Keeffe and the Gender Debate: Can a Woman Be Great, or Only a Woman?’ I have long been a fan of Ms. O’Keeffe and her art. Several decades ago I was blessed to be able to spend a few weeks a year in New Mexico. The beautiful memories of her lasting visage linger, vividly.

    Dawn Tripp’s, ‘Georgia,’ has now moved to the very top of my TBR stack. I hope your breakthrough article will encourage you to submit more of your writing. As an artist, you have multi-faceted gifts and talents. Please continue to share them with your fans and friends. Thank you and best wishes for more great writing.

    1. Hi Richard, thank you for your thoughtful comments and encouraging words. I am very grateful to have had an article published and definitely plan to keep writing and putting my work out there. It’s thrilling, as you can imagine, to have it actually hit the page in public. I’ll be riding on Cloud 9 for a while, I think. 🙂 Thank you!

  2. congratulations on the article. It is always wonderful when you have something so close to you succeed. I have read almost everything else about O” Keefe, so I will definitely look this one up. I also hope to see the Tate exhibit as I plan to travel to London this fall. She has always been one of my favourites too.
    Keep writing Jennifer!

    1. I hope you enjoy Georgia, when you read it. And enjoy the exhibit in London — how fantastic! Thank you so much, Christine!

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