About This Artwork

Georgia O'Keeffe
American, 1887–1986

Blue and Green Music, 1919/21

Oil on canvas
58.4 x 48.3 cm (23 x 18 in.)

Alfred Stieglitz Collection, gift of Georgia O'Keeffe, 1969.835

© The Art Institute of Chicago

Although she had not yet visited Europe, Georgia O’Keeffe was exposed to Modernism through exhibitions at Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery 291 in New York and her studies at the University of Virginia and Columbia University Teacher’s College. She was drawn to the theories of the Russian Expressionist painter Vasily Kandinsky, who, in his 1912 text Concerning the Spiritual in Art, argued that visual artists should emulate music in order to achieve pure expression free of literary references. Around 1920 O’Keeffe painted a number of oils exploring, as she later recalled, “the idea that music could be translated into something for the eye.” In Blue and Green Music, O’Keeffe’s colors and forms simultaneously suggest the natural world and evoke the experience of sound.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, Georgia O’Keeffe, January 21-February 22, 1943, cat. by Daniel Catton Rich, no. 5, p. 11.

New York, Whitney Museum of Art, Georgia O’Keeffe Retrospective Exhibition, October 8-November 29, 1970, no. 23; traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago, January 1-February 7, 1971; San Francisco Museum of Art, April ?, 1971.

London, Hayward Gallery, "Georgia O'Keeffe: American and Modern," April 8-June 22, 1993; traveled to Mexico City, Palacio de Bellas Artes, July 15-October 1, 1993.

San Antonio, Texas, Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, "O'Keeffe and Texas," January 27-April 5, 1998.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, "Alfred Stieglitz and Modern Art in America", January 28-April 22, 2001.

Centre Georges Pompidou,"Sounds and Lights", September 22-January 3, 2005.

Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, "Visual Music, 1905-2005"; traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, February 13-May 22, 2005, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, June 23-September 11, 2005.

Whitney Museum of American Art, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction," September 17, 2009-January 17, 2010; traveled to Washington D.C., Phillips Collection, February 6-May 9, 2012; Santa Fe, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, May 28-September 12, 2010 (New York only).

London, Tate Modern, "Georgia O'Keeffe," July 6-October 30, 2016; travels to Vienna, Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien, December 7, 2016-March 26, 2017; Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, April 22-July 30, 2017 (London only) cat. 28.

Publication History

Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago: Twentieth-Century Painting and Sculpture, selected by James N. Wood and Teri J. Edelstein (Art Institute of Chicago, 1996), p. 46 (ill.).

Barbara Buhler Lynes, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné," (National Gallery of Art/Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation/Yale University Press, 1999) no. 1344 (vol. 1).

James W. Lane and Leo Katz, The Work of Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portfolio of 12 Paintings (New York, 1939), pl. 6.

Milton W. Brown, American Painting from the Armory Show to the Depression (Princeton, 1955), ill. p. 126.

Lloyd Goodrich and Doris Bry, Georgia O’Keeffe (New York, 1970), p. 32 (ill.)

Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago: Twentieth-Century Painting and Sculpture, selected by James N. Wood and Teri J. Edelstein (Art Institute of Chicago, 1996), p.46, ill.

Barbara Buhler Lynes, Georgia O'Keeffe Catalogue Raisonne Volume One (New Haven, Conneticut: Yale University Press; Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of American Art; Abiquiu, New Mexico: The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation, 1999), p 185, no.344.

Judith A. Barter et al., "American Modernism at the Art Institute of Chicago, From World War I to 1955," (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2009), cat. 35.

Ownership History

Given by the artist to the Art Institute through the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1969.

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