Martha Edelheit on Georgia O’Keeffe

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Martha Edelheit remembers a visit with painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

Edelheit recalls: "In the living room, the first thing I saw was a large cloud painting, like I’d first seen at a recent Whitney Biennial. How marvelous that someone had finally painted sky and clouds from an airplane’s view. At the Whitney, I was startled to see that it was an O’Keeffe. Like little icebergs …or cobblestones in the sky. It charmed and enchanted me. It was audacious, in its almost childlike, naive composition. A very pure painting, like the skies in medieval icons. O’Keeffe’s work is so beautifully painted. Both in her craft and sophisticated articulation, she is masterful. Her compositions are newly envisioned. The images are direct and clear, even if they are often enigmatic, mysterious. This cloud painting made me smile. It gave me pleasure. It did not take my breath away like Constable’s cloud studies. It expanded, breathed, was gentle. If great art consists in creating a new vision, a new way of seeing the world, a compelling and unique group of powerful, subtle, beautiful, works, then O’Keeffe fulfills this criteria!"

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