Georgia O'Keeffe's work has led her to become an icon of feminism. Her paintings, from large close-ups of flowers to American landscapes, all display a sense of elegance and vitality and show a deep connection with her surroundings. O'Keeffe has been recognized as the "Mother of American modernism". "Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest," said O'Keeffe.
Georgia O'Keeffe was born in 1887, near Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of farmers. From 1905 to 1906, she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and for a further year at the Art Students League in New York. There, she learned the techniques of traditional realist painting. She worked as a commercial artist for the following two years and then taught at art schools in South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. During a brief stint at New York's Columbia University in 1912, O'Keeffe met a teacher named Arthur Dow who introduced the artist to Pont-Aven painting, a style that emphasizes flat abstract arrangements of color and bonding line. Both this style and Japanese art were to inspire much of her work throughout her career.ﾠﾠ
Seeking to find a personal visual language through which she could express her feelings and ideas, she began a series of abstract charcoal drawings in 1915 that represented a radical break with tradition and made O’Keeffe one of the very first American artists to practice pure abstraction.