Against Interpretation: Georgia O’Keeffe and ‘the Zen of Aestheticism’

Garland, Sarah ORCID: (2021) Against Interpretation: Georgia O’Keeffe and ‘the Zen of Aestheticism’. Women: A Cultural Review. pp. 86-103. ISSN 0957-4042

[thumbnail of o'keeffe decorating dissidence] PDF (o'keeffe decorating dissidence) - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 22 October 2023.

Request a copy


Georgia O’Keeffe’s reputation as exemplary American innocent was part of the persona that circulated along with her work and with her photographic portraits, throughout her career. This essay argues that O’Keeffe's stylisation of her life and work was a response to early twentieth-century structures of interpretation, and argues that, through reference to Far Eastern metaphysics as they appeared in America in the universalized design principles of Arthur Wesley Dow and Ernest Fenollosa’s work in particular, as well as to American traditions of ‘plain speech’, O’Keeffe used a formalist, aestheticist version of a Far Eastern-inspired aesthetic to pre-empt and parry contemporary psychoanalytic readings of her work and person.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > American Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 17:32
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 17:32
DOI: 10.1080/09574042.2021.1883268

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item