Line, Color, Composition Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; Exhibition Opens May 8, 2015

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Exhibition showcases how O’Keeffe used essential elements of art—line, color, and composition—in a variety of media, including pastel, charcoal, watercolor and oil.

Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, 1938, Georgia O'Keeffe

The intent of this exhibition is to deepen the appreciation of her skill and unique talents as one of the most technically proficient and artistically innovative artists of the twentieth century.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “Line, Color, Composition” opens at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum May 8, 2015. To understand the richness of O’Keeffe’s artistic practice, this exhibition reveals her disciplined drawing technique, dramatic color palette and innovative sense for composition through paintings and drawings that span her career.

“The exhibition showcases O’Keeffe’s process, from conceptualization to the finished canvas, revealing how she achieved such remarkable clarity in her work,” says Cody Hartley, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “Repeatedly, we see an artist pushing boundaries, in some cases quite literally with lines and forms racing off the canvas, yet always maintaining a sense of harmony and balance.”

The presentation offers fresh insight to the importance of line in her work – from preliminary sketches and drawings to the fluid, seemingly effortless outlines that define regions of her canvas and divide her compositions into dynamic zones of color, be it the curve of a flower petal, the horizon of a landscape, or the contour of an abstract form. A brilliant colorist, O’Keeffe created strong, vibrant works with colors that glow with energy and vitality. Holding all of this together is an innate and innovative sense for composition.

“Her confidence and ability in handling these varying elements makes her style of painting look effortless,” adds Carolyn Kastner, Curator, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “The intent of this exhibition is to deepen the appreciation of her skill and unique talents as one of the most technically proficient and artistically innovative artists of the twentieth century.”

O’Keeffe’s drawing practice was the lens for each new experience and her sketches form a journal of her explorations and demonstrate how she transformed her observations into abstract forms and masses. After making preparatory drawings, O’Keeffe outlined her compositions on canvas with charcoal before painting and applying color, inhabiting the full process of creation from inspiration to finished work of art.

For example, included in the exhibition are two preparatory drawings and their related painting, Blue, Black and Grey of 1960, which reveal her sensitivity to abstract forms in the natural world. In the first drawing, her firm clear lines trace the contour of the abstract shapes she observed in the landscape. The second drawing shows variations of shade and massing. She painted with conviction and the finished works of art in the exhibition seldom vary from her initial concept.

“Line, Color, Composition” is on display from May 8 – September 13, 2015.

The Museum is currently also exhibiting “Modernism Made in New Mexico” through April 30, 2015 and “Georgia O’Keeffe: Ghost Ranch Views,” open until March 22, 2015.



To inspire all current and future generations, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum preserves, presents and advances the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe and modernism through innovative public engagement, education, and research. Opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1997, the Museum counts O’Keeffe’s two New Mexico homes as part of its extended collection. The Museum’s collections, exhibitions, research center, publications and educational programs contribute to scholarly discourse and serve a diverse audience. For more information, please visit


Summer of Color Santa Fe is a citywide celebration of the rich and vibrant colors that have made this city an artists’ mecca for over a century. Anchored by the museums and events on Museum Hill, Summer of Color includes Santa Fe’s leading cultural institutions, art galleries, and restaurants in a collaboration of color-themed events, exhibitions, programs, and menus that celebrate the rich artistic and cultural offerings of the city. The summer arts celebration extends from Memorial Day through Labor Day; additional information can be found at

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