The Lawrence Tree, 1929 by Georgia OKeeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe was greatly influenced by Arthur Wesley Dow, with whom she studied composition for two years at Columbia Teachers College. In his art book, Compositions, Dow told students to paint, "not a picture that can be left to the botanist, but rather an irregular pattern of lines and spaces, something far beyond the mere drawing of a plant from nature".
Liberated by Dow's unique approach to art, O'Keeffe took the notions of going "beyond the mere drawing" to dazzling extremes. O'Keeffe not only catches the 'still object' - canvases swimming with swirls of voluptuously curved, pulsating with color - but also seems to dive into the very heart of the object itself, pulling the viewer in with her. The astonishing designs, so different from the detailed, "realistic" still lifes generated some of the most extraordinary art criticism of any time - and continue to do so.