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Dark Tree Trunks

Georgia O'Keeffe

American Art

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.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1946
DIMENSIONS 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS 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)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, American Landscape, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe
RIGHTS STATEMENT copyright transferred to Brooklyn Museum, 2006
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CAPTION 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
IMAGE overall, 87.136.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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