Dark Tree Trunks1946 by Georgia O'Keeffe

Oil on canvas
Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe, 87.136.1

The V-form is a recurring motif in O’Keeffe’s art and in her wardrobe. In the direction of abstraction by cropping the tree forms abruptly at the canvas’s edge, bringing focus to the V formed by the converging tree trunks. This V, painted in New Mexico a few months after Stieglitz’s death, may also be endowed with personal meaning. The two sets of bare tree trunks, rooted to each other in the ground but grown apart, may be a subtle reference to her partnership with Stieglitz, frayed by the end of his life because of his attentions to another woman.

This painting can be seen hanging in O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch studio in the 1948 short film by Henwar Rodakiewicz, Land of Enchantment: Southeast, USA, on view nearby.
Click to select the cover image for this artwork.
Media: oil on canvas