Georgia O’Keeffe’s Drawings
For O’Keeffe, drawing was a path to discovery, a means of mapping out, in her words, “the things in my head that are not like anyone has taught me.” In 1915, she embarked on a series of charcoal sketches that led her to an extraordinary formal vocabulary: lines that expand and contract into spirals, celestial structures that float according to their own logic, floral echoes that bloom in curves and swirls, and rectilinear marks that create tension between the geometric and the organic.
Variations on these lines, shapes, and marks eventually found their way into O’Keeffe’s paintings.
The charcoal drawings illustrated here are all in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Like most of O’Keeffe’s earliest works on paper, they are extremely fragile and therefore unable to travel.
Explore this interactive for a selection of the artist’s drawings, and see what connections you can make between these drawings and the paintings in this exhibition.
All works by Georgia O'Keeffe, American, 1887–1986, charcoal on laid paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation, 1992.89.1–9, 1992.89.11, © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Second, Out of My Head, 1915. No 12–Special, 1915. I–Special, 1916. No. 2–Special, 1915. No. 3–Special, 1915. No. 4 Special, 1915. No. 5 Special, 1915. No. 7 Special, 1915. No. 14 Special, 1916. First Drawing of the Blue Lines, 1916.