Red Hills with the Pedernal

Red Hills with the Pedernal

Red Hills with the Pedernal, 1936

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986)
oil on linen
Bequest of Helen Miller Jones, 1986. @ Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Georgia O’Keeffe first visited Mabel Dodge Luhan in Taos during the summer of 1929. Luhan had been the center of a modernist salon in New York City before she moved to Taos in 1918. Over the years, O’Keeffe painted subjects that reflected the local environment: flowers, trees, and landscapes, as well as cultural objects such as bultos, kachina dolls, Penitente crosses, and the Ranchos de Taos church. Luhan reported in the June, 1931, issue of Creative Arts that O’Keeffe summarized her experiences in Taos by noting, “This is wonderful. No one told me it was like this.” During the 1930s O’Keeffe perfected the images of the New Mexico landscapes that have become identified with her mature style. Images such as Red Hills with the Pedernal, from 1936, record O’Keeffe’s highly personal responses to the outdoors and the landforms of New Mexico.

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