Cow skull and calico roses

Georgia O'Keeffe • Painting, 1931, 91.4×61 cm
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Still life
Style of art: Modernism, Precisionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1931
Size: 91.4×61 cm
Artwork in selections: 16 selections

Description of the artwork «Cow skull and calico roses»

First trip to the southwest United States became O'keeffe turning point in his creative and personal life. At this time she was going through a crisis in relations with her husband Alfred Stiglitz, and a trip to new Mexico with her friend Rebecca strand has become for the artist a kind of rehabilitation therapy after a serious injury. There was infinite space in which we can't see the point of contact between heaven and earth, here was breathtaking bare desert, jagged mountain scenery and fossils, over the bizarre forms which the job nature itself. This pristine and untouched impressed with O'keeffe's for a lifetime and became a source of constant need to transfer what he saw onto the canvas.

Prior to that, O'keefe was looking for inspiration mostly in nature. In new York she bought cut flowers and imprinted on the canvas while they still had life. Here in new Mexico, where time seemed frozen in place, she suddenly was able to see the live in dead. The first paintings of that period, O'keeffe depicted the local landscape, crosses and architecture, in particular the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. But in 1930 in the South-West there was a great drought that caused the death of many animals. Their bones bleached by the sun and polished by wind and sand, admired the artist, and was struck by her imagination. She wrote of the skull, the ridges and the pelvic bone constantly and have put together a collection found in the desert "trophies", which was later brought to new York.

Picture "Cow skull and calico roses" striking feeling of utter peace and tranquility. Even decorated with the "funeral" artificial flowers, skull has little in common with death in its conventional sense. Itself O'keefe talked about his paintings with bones: "For me they are as beautiful as nothing. For me, they are, ironically, much more living than animals walking around. These bones seem to be embedded deep in the middle of something keenly alive in the desert, despite the fact that it is vast, empty and untouchable."

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov