–Georgia O’Keeffe, 1922
Long before Georgia O’Keeffe started painting the great landscapes of the Southwest, she explored total abstraction with a monochrome palate beginning in 1912. O’Keeffe delved into the world of Zen Buddhist inspired art making with her mentor, Arthur W. Dow, and his revolutionary book, Composition. She wanted to get to the very essence of thing, not an imitation, but the Truth - the Zen way of seeing the world.
Distinguishable from other biographies that focus primarily on the O’Keeffe’s post-Stieglitz years in the Southwest, this book is compelled to focus on a particular turning point, at the beginning of her journey as an artist. It looks not at the flame of her expansive career, but the match that ignited her passion to paint.
“In Zen, the meanings often lie beyond language but can be revealed in visual form…To approach this reality with a Western background or common sense is not possible-in order to understand Zen one must experience it first-hand.” - Zen and Oriental Art, by Munsterberg, H.