Georgia O'Keeffe: The Wideness and Wonder of Her World

Beverly Gherman, Author Atheneum Books $13.95 (131p) ISBN 978-0-689-31164-2
When Edmund Wilson patronizingly praised her as a ""great woman painter,'' the late O'Keeffe was outraged. She had always made it clear that her work should stand on its own, refusing to say much about it, or even to sign her paintings, and this biography was written without her cooperation. It is not only second hand, but paints a distorted picture of O'Keeffe as a sort of feminist heroine, a loner who dared to be an artist instead of an art teacher, who dressed and loved unconventionally. But other accounts have shown that O'Keeffe received much support in her career from her family and husband, and is not given to making social statements, but rather is independent and private by nature. The author's admiration reduces her to two dimensions. She trivializes O'Keeffe's work as well, with long descriptions of oil paintings that speak eloquently for themselves, and speculation about the painter's artistic inspiration and motivations. Gherman writes in an indirect and rather prudish style, tiptoeing around the well-known nude portraits by Stieglitz, O'Keeffe's love affairs in general, and even the issue of eroticism in her paintings. Georgia O'Keeffe adds little to what has already been written about the painter's life and work. Illustrations not seen by PW. (9-up)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Paperback - 131 pages - 978-0-02-040388-3
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