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The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

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Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
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Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Georgia O'Keeffe
Abstraction. Blind I
Oil on canvas
71 x 61 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 695 (1973.5)

More information about this work

Georgia O’Keeffe, who was linked to the abstract circles that sprang up around her husband Alfred Stieglitz, is among the most widely known American artists. From the outset of her artistic career she developed a very personal type of abstract art based on nature motifs, which has sometimes been described as biomorphic abstraction. Her skill at producing unforgettable images of the sensations aroused by the sight of nature make her a key figure in American Modernism. For O’Keeffe art was not a manner of symbolising an idea or an image but a means of understanding her emotions, her experience of the world. She used to say that her paintings represented “things that I had no words for” or “the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”

Abstraction. Blind I, hitherto entitled simply Abstraction or Abstraction I, one of the four paintings by O’Keeffe in the permanent collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, is among her first abstract compositions. It is painted in her unmistakeable style of subtle, almost invisible brushstrokes in tones that are very neutral except for the red and yellow bands that cross the composition. As on many other occasions, the painter captures the magical atmosphere of the night in a mysterious image that may recall the sight of planets around a glistening moon.

Paloma Alarcó

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

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