NARRATOR: Georgia O’Keeffe once explained that she felt the world of visual form—pure shape and color—very deeply.
Artist, Georgia O’Keeffe.
O’KEEFFE: I can see shapes. It’s as if my mind creates shapes that I don’t know about. I can’t say it any other way. But I get this shape in my head. And sometimes I know what it comes from and sometimes I don’t. And I think with myself that there are a few shapes that I have repeated a number of times during my life and I hadn’t known I was repeating them until after I had done it.
NARRATOR: Even when O’Keeffe drew her subjects from nature, she made them her own. And when she painted abstractly, there were always hints of the natural world in her canvases. The tension between abstraction and figuration animated her work. So did her deep sensitivity to her immediate environment. This responsiveness is especially apparent in paintings she made after 1929, when she began spending time in New Mexico.