Leaf Motif, No. 2

Maker and role
Artist: Georgia O'Keeffe, American, 1887-1986
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Object detail

Oil on canvas
35 x 18in (88.9 x 45.7cm)
Credit line
Mary and Sylvan Lang Collection
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Object type
Further information
Nothing is less real than realism…It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.
- Georgia O’Keeffe

Known for her depictions of the natural world, Georgia O’Keeffe experimented with color, scale, and line to transform the familiar into surreal, almost abstract forms. In 1924, O’Keeffe started a series of paintings of magnified flowers and leaves, including Leaf Motif, No. 2. O’Keeffe enlarged tiny details to draw the viewer into the painting.

Born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O’Keeffe studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and then went to New York where she exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery.
The Sylvan and Mary Lang Collection: An Exhibition on the Occasion of the Opening of the Sylvan and Mary Lang Galleries, March, 1973; 1973; no. 29
Georgia O'Keeffe; Nancy Frazier (b.1935); 1990; p. 103, 112
Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné; Barbara Buhler Lynes; 1999; 467
Modern Art at the McNay: A Brief History and Pictorial Survey of the Collection; William J. Chiego; 2001; p. 153
Illumination: The Paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce; Karen Moss; 2009; p. 19, 21; fig. 7
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