On visiting New Mexico for the first time, initially with friends in Taos, O’Keeffe experimented with painting local earth-built abodes and Spanish colonial influences such as churches and crosses that were far removed from the skyscrapers and the bustle of busy city life that she lived in in New York. She said that when she got to New Mexico she’d ‘never seen anything like it before, but it fitted me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air – it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different.’
Ranchos Church No. 1, 1929
Date of work
Oil on canvas, 47.6 x 61 cm Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, Bequest of R.H. Norton, 53.143 © 2016 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/ DACS, London
Georgia O’Keeffe is best known for her paintings of magnified flowers, animal skulls and New Mexico desert landscapes. O’Keeffe made her debut in 1916 and was immediately recognised as a trailblazing artist, while today her legacy as an American art icon and a pioneer of twentieth-century art is widely recognised.
‘Men put me down as the best woman painter I think I’m one of the best painters.’ Georgia O’Keeffe.