Lake George in Woods

“Nothing is less real than realism,” Georgia O’Keeffe proclaimed in 1922. Indeed, she had begun to reconsider her pictorial strategies, looking to photography not for its true-to-life qualities but as a means of abstraction through unorthodox perspectives and spatial compression. During this period O’Keeffe was annually visiting modernist photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s Upstate New York home and testing the representational limits of still-life and landscape subjects. The last of three related works, Lake George in Woods embodies her pursuit of the essence of place. O’Keeffe orients the composition vertically and exploits pastel’s textural properties to dissolve the natural elements into a surging atmospheric orb.

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