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Georgia O'Keeffe 1887-1986 | The Precisionist Movement, 1920

Precisionism, also known as Cubist Realism

Georgia O'Keeffe, Elsie Driggs, Francis Criss, Charles Demuth, Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler and Herman Trunk were prominent The Precisionist Movement, also referred to as Cubist-Realists, Sterilists and Immaculates. Precisionism was an artistic movement that emerged in the United States after World War I and was at its height during the inter-War period. The term itself was first coined in the early 1920s. Influenced strongly by Cubism and Futurism, its main themes included industrialization and the modernization of the American landscape, which were depicted in precise, sharply defined, geometrical forms. The themes originated from the streamlined architecture and machinery of the early 1900s. Precision artists considered themselves strictly American and tried to avoid European artistic influences. There is a degree of reverence for the industrial age in the movement, but social commentary was not fundamental to the style. The degree of abstraction in the movement ranged considerably from Charles Demuth's famous The Figure 5 in Gold from 1928; to Charles Sheeler's work that sometimes verged on the photorealistic. In addition to his paintings Charles Sheeler also created photographs of factories and industrial buildings as did his friend the photographer Paul Strand.
George Ault, Ralston Crawford, Preston Dickinson, Louis Lozowick, Gerald Murphy, Niles Spencer, Joseph Stella, Stuart Davis Peter Blume, Virginia Berresford, Henry Billings John Storrs and Miklos Suba, Francis Criss, and the photographer Paul Strand were other artists associated with the hard-edged style of Precisionism. The movement had no presence outside the United States, and although no manifesto was ever created, the artists themselves were a close group who were active throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and exhibited together.
Georgia O'Keeffe, especially with paintings like New York Night 1928-29, remained connected to Precisionist ideals until the 1960s, although her best-known works are not closely related to Precisionism, and it would be inaccurate to state that O'Keeffe was entirely aligned with Precisionism. Her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, was a highly regarded mentor for the group. Their art would have an influence on the magic realism and pop art movements.

For several decades Georgia O'Keeffe was a major figure in American art who, remarkably, maintained her independence from shifting artistic trends. She painted prolifically, and almost exclusively, the flowers, animal bones, and landscapes around her studios in Lake George, New York, and New Mexico, and these subjects became her signature images. She remained true to her own unique artistic vision and created a highly individual style of painting, which synthesized the formal language of modern European abstraction and the subjects of traditional American pictorialism.

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