Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico

Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico : Architecture, Katsinam & the Land

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At various intervals between 1931 and 1945, Georgia O'Keeffe (18871986) completed seventeen drawings and paintings of katsina tithu ("kachina dolls"), the painted-wood representations of spirit beings carved by Native American artist -- especially Hopi and Zuni -- that have long played an important role in Pueblo and Hopi ceremonialism. O'Keeffe never explained how or why she became interested in these Native American carvings. Because she gave generic titles to her paintings of them except those works depicting Kokopelli, she may not have been aware of their specific names, meaning, or functions. But the artist always took inspiration from her immediate environment, whether working abstractly or representationally, often seeking subjects that conveyed her feelings for or experiences of specific places; her depictions of Native American spirit beings were no exception. As she later pointed out, "My pictures are my statement of a personal experience". The book, which accompanies a touring exhibition of fifty-three works by the artist, features fifteen drawings and paintings of katsina subjects made between 1931 and 1941 and thirty-eight additional works made between 1929 and 1953 that resulted from her deep exploration of the distinctive architecture and cultural objects of Northern New Mexico's Hispanic and Native American communities. Also included are numerous landscape paintings, a subject O'Keeffe addressed most consistently during her career. The book also features contributions by noted art historian W. Jackson Rushing III, Hopi weaver Ramona Sakiestewa, Hopi artist Dan Namingha, and Hopi tribal leader and author Alph H Secakuku. Rushing discusses O'Keeffe and other modernist painters, including Emil Bistram, Fred Kabotie, and Gustave Baumann, in their approach to Native subjects; Sakiestewa writes about O'Keeffe's katsina paintings and the influence the artist had on her own designs; Secakuku explicates katsinam ceremonalism; and Namingha is interviewed about katsina imagery in his work.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 230 x 280 x 12.7mm | 756g
  • New Mexico, United States
  • English
  • 0890135479
  • 9780890135471
  • 2,579,792

About Barbara Buhler Lynes

Barbara Buhler Lynes is curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and The Emily Fisher Landau director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center in Santa Fe. She is the author of "Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonne" and other books on the artist and her circle.
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