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Word Count: 1,200
While there might be something heroic about it today it is not very likely that an abstract painter is would become a cultural heroine But that is what Georgia OKeefe became a model of the modern liberated woman compared by some to the dancer Isador Duncan and the writer Gertrude Stein Honour and Flemming 695-96 OKeefe is considered one of the earliest abstract painters on the United States But to achieve this was not an easy task just the making of her paintings was sometimes a physical and logistical challenge as in the case of her famous painting at The Art Institute of Chicago Sky Above Clouds IV Some even say that she has an influence on younger artists which suggests that she is still seen as a heroine in some peoples eyes Though generally speaking abstraction is not very popular in the art world today over the past 10 to 15 years paintings especially abstract paintings resurgence has been ignored in the Whitney Biennials and in most of the international art festivals Speh it was just blooming in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century Honour and Flemming 695 write that there was a small but strong and steady current in America towards abstraction And OKeefe was a part of that current if not one of the forces behind it Though they write that her work was not strictly abstract she created a vocabulary of personal forms which often hover ambiguously between representation and abstraction Honour and Flemming 696 That is a good description of many of her paintings such as those that Alfred Stieglitzwho later became her husband showed in 1916 at his gallery the one she sold from that show was a black shape with smoke above it a picture of the early morning train roaring in OKeefe Sky Above Clouds IV done much later in 1965 also hovers ambiguously between representation and abstraction It is a very
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