Natural Affinities: The Western Landscapes of Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams
Hammond, Ann, Queen's Quarterly
THE WORKS of iconic American artists Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams are focused on beauty in nature, and transform these elements with colour and tone. While both call attention to the abstract aspects of the Western landscape, they do so in different ways. Adams' photographs consistently capture drama in the natural world, whether in the quiet depictions of its awesome intensity or in works that show its transitory moments--a sunset, sunrise, moonrise, or dramatic cloud pattern. O'Keeffe, on the other hand, rarely depicted the transitory in nature. Rather her landscapes and vegetation are overwhelmingly direct and immediate, with drama emerging from her passionate interest in colour, as in the intense greys, blacks, and purples in The Black Iris.
O'Keeffe (1887-1986) and Adams (1902-1984) first met in 1929 in Taos, New Mexico, when Adams travelled to photograph the pueblo and O'Keeffe journeyed from New York City to spend the first of many summers painting in New Mexico, which would become her permanent home in 1949. At their first meeting, Adams was unknown in the art world, while O'Keeffe was one of its best-known and celebrated modernist painters. …