PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF HARRIET WALKER HENDERSON
O'Keeffe had learned from her studies with Arthur Dow that in oriental art "the same theme appears again and again with new beauty, with different quality and complex accompaniments," an observation she put to practical use by repeatedly painting the same subject with constantly changing results. O'Keeffe wrote, "I work on an idea for a long time. It's like getting acquainted with a person, and I don't get acquainted easily...Sometimes I start in a very realistic fashion, and as I go on from one painting to another of the same thing, it becomes simplified till it can be nothing but abstract."
In Two Austrian Copper Roses III, O'Keeffe remains faithful to the architecture of the blossom, emphasizing the unusual shapes of species, exploiting the voluptuous roundness of each rose's contours and capturing the imperfect symmetry of their structure. Through subtle graduations of the rich red tones, O'Keeffe renders volumes that convey the tactile quality of the rose.
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