Dark Tree Trunks
On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Landscape, 5th Floor
“Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis that we get to the real meaning of things.” This statement by Georgia O’Keeffe in 1922 set out the aesthetic premise that would guide her throughout more than six decades of work. Drawing consistently on the natural world for her subjects, she represented the intensity of this engagement by delivering “close-ups” of what she had divined were the essentials of a given form. These forms were always conceived with the painting format in mind. As early as the twenties, O’Keeffe had begun to experiment with large-format images of trees, pushing her compositions in the direction of abstraction by cropping their forms abruptly at the canvas edge.
Oil on canvas
Inscriptions on backing:
1. "Dark Tree Trunks 1950 [crossed out] 1946 (crossing out and '1946' inscribed by Doris Bry, black ink) / Oil/ 40 x 30 / Canvas / Baker 5837" (OKR, black ink)
2. "Dark Tree Trunks. / 1946 1950 [crossed out], 40 x 30 / Georgia O'Keeffe" (inscribed by Doris Bry, black ink)
3. "Spray Keck" (inscribed by Doris Bry, graphite)
Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe
copyright transferred to Brooklyn Museum, 2006
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Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986). Dark Tree Trunks, 1946. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe, 87.136.1. copyright transferred to Brooklyn Museum, 2006
overall, 87.136.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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