One of America's most innovative and popular artists, Georgia O'Keeffe is rightfully celebrated as a pioneer who worked in her own style and on her own terms. Perhaps O'Keeffe's most significant contribution to art history was her unique approach to abstraction. From her groundbreaking charcoal drawings of 1915 to her final paintings from the 1970s over the course of a career spanning more than seven decades Georgia O'Keeffe consistently incorporated swirling circular forms into her compositions. Her innovative use of this motif as a means of abstraction stands in contrast to the strategies adopted by many of her peers, which tended to be Cubist-based, using straight lines and angles rather than curves and circles. Using the circle and its kin - the ellipse, the oval, the spiral, and the arcing line - O'Keeffe explored the shifting terrain between abstraction and representation, sometimes calling upon them forms to represent a mood, a reaction to a sensation, or the spiritual essence of a subject, while at other times using them to encourage her viewers to see new relationships between familiar objects. As she developed her unique pictorial vision, O'Keeffe looked to a wide variety of sources, ranging from the theories of Arthur Wesley Dow and Wassily Kandinsky to the work of her American peers, Asian art, and contemporary photography, constantly seeking inspiration and new ideas, but consistently integrating what she learned into a visual language that was, finally, a highly personal and thoroughly unique contribution to American Modernism. Despite O'Keeffe's broad popularity and the numerous exhibitions devoted to her work both during her lifetime and posthumously, Georgia O'Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction
is the first exhibition devoted to this aspect of her work, and promises to make an important addition to scholarship on both O'Keeffe and twentieth-century American art.