Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life

Open Road Media
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A New York Times Notable Book: Roxana Robinson’s definitive biography of Georgia O’Keeffe is a rich and revealing portrait of the iconic American artist.
 
Artist Georgia O’Keeffe was born into a family of strong Midwestern farmwomen and taught self-reliance at an early age. Coming of age in the modern era, she went on to defy the social conventions of her time and lead a successful and emancipated life full of creativity, feminism, and austerity that has taken on mythic proportion. Roxana Robinson’s multilayered book explores O’Keeffe’s journey to personal and professional independence, the evolution of her art, and her most influential relationships. Written with the cooperation of O’Keeffe’s family, and using sources unavailable during her lifetime, this biography presents the artist’s own voice through her letters to family and friends.
 
Robinson follows O’Keeffe from her childhood on a Wisconsin farm to the center of the New York art scene where she met her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz championed O’Keeffe, exhibiting her work at his gallery and drawing her into his inner circle of early modernists. But O’Keeffe, ever caught between the demands of love and art, left New York to find inspiration in the New Mexico desert where she created some of her most renowned work.
 
This vividly rendered, beautifully written account succeeds in capturing the passions, controversies, and contradictions in the life of an extraordinary woman.
 
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About the author

Roxana Robinson (b. 1946) is the author of five novels, most recently Sparta; three short story collections; and the biography Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Best American Short Stories, among other publications. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Robinson teaches in Hunter College’s master of fine arts program and is president of the Authors Guild, the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jun 21, 2016
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Pages
679
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ISBN
9781504025638
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Individual Artists / General
Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Five women revolutionize the modern art world in postwar America in this "gratifying, generous, and lush" true story from a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist (Jennifer Szalai, New York Times)

Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting--not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come.

Gutsy and indomitable, Lee Krasner was a hell-raising leader among artists long before she became part of the modern art world's first celebrity couple by marrying Jackson Pollock. Elaine de Kooning, whose brilliant mind and peerless charm made her the emotional center of the New York School, used her work and words to build a bridge between the avant-garde and a public that scorned abstract art as a hoax.
Grace Hartigan fearlessly abandoned life as a New Jersey housewife and mother to achieve stardom as one of the boldest painters of her generation. Joan Mitchell, whose notoriously tough exterior shielded a vulnerable artist within, escaped a privileged but emotionally damaging Chicago childhood to translate her fierce vision into magnificent canvases. And Helen Frankenthaler, the beautiful daughter of a prominent New York family, chose the difficult path of the creative life. Her gamble paid off: At twenty-three she created a work so original it launched a new school of painting.

These women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In Ninth Street Women, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping not just postwar America but the future.
In this brilliant, luminous novel, one of our finest realist writers gives us a story of surpassing depth and emotional power. Acclaimed for her lucid and compassionate exploration of the American family, Roxana Robinson sets her new work on familiar terrain—New York City and the Adirondacks—but with Sweetwater she transcends the particulars of the domestic sphere with a broader, more encompassing vision. In this poignant account of a young widow and her second marriage, Robinson expands her scope to include the larger natural world as well as the smaller, more intimate one of the home.

Isabel Green’s marriage to Paul Simmons, after the death of her first husband, marks her reconnection to life—a venture she’s determined will succeed. But this proves to be harder than she’d anticipated, and the challenges of starting afresh seem more complicated in adulthood. Staying at the Simmons lodge for their annual summer visit, Isabel finds herself entering into a set of familial complexities. She struggles to understand her new husband, his elderly, difficult parents and his brother, whose relationship with Paul seems oddly fraught. Furthermore, her second marriage begins to cast into sharp relief the troubling echoes of her first. Isabel’s professional life plays a part as well: a passionate environmental advocate, she is aware of the tensions within the mountain landscape itself during a summer of spectacular beauty and ominous drought.

In her cool, elegant prose, Robinson gracefully delivers a plot that is complex, surprising and ultimately wrenching in its impact. As the strands of family are woven tightly and inevitably together, and as the past painfully informs the present, the vivid backdrop of the physical world provides its own eloquent dynamic. Sweetwater is a stunning achievement by a writer at the peak of her craft.
Going from peace to war can make a young man into a warrior. Going from war to peace can destroy him.

Conrad Farrell has no family military heritage, but as a classics major at Williams College, he has encountered the powerful appeal of the Marine Corps ethic. "Semper Fidelis" comes straight from the ancient world, from Sparta, where every citizen doubled as a full-time soldier. When Conrad graduates, he joins the Marines to continue a long tradition of honor, courage, and commitment.

As Roxana Robinson's new novel, Sparta, begins, Conrad has just returned home to Katonah, New York, after four years in Iraq, and he's beginning to learn that something has changed in his landscape. Something has gone wrong, though things should be fine: he hasn't been shot or wounded; he's never had psychological troubles--he shouldn't have PTSD. But as he attempts to reconnect with his family and his girlfriend and to find his footing in the civilian world, he learns how hard it is to return to the people and places he used to love. His life becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate: he can't imagine his future, can't recover his past, and can't bring himself to occupy his present. As weeks turn into months, Conrad feels himself trapped in a life that's constrictive and incomprehensible, and he fears that his growing rage will have irreparable consequences.
Suspenseful, compassionate, and perceptive, Sparta captures the nuances of the unique estrangement that modern soldiers face as they attempt to rejoin the society they've fought for. Billy Collins writes that Roxana Robinson is "a master at . . . the work of excavating the truths about ourselves"; The Washington Post's Jonathan Yardley calls her "one of our best writers." In Sparta, with the powerful insight and acuity that marked her earlier books (Cost, Sweetwater, and A Perfect Stranger, among others), Robinson explores the life of a veteran and delivers her best book yet.
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2013

There are few couples in the history of 20th-century American art and culture more prominent than Georgia O'Keeffe (1887- 1986) and Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). Between 1915, when they first began to write to each other, and 1946, when Stieglitz died, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz exchanged over 5,000 letters (more than 25,000 pages) that describe their daily lives in profoundly rich detail. This long-awaited volume features some 650 letters, carefully selected and annotated by leading photography scholar Sarah Greenough. In O'Keeffe's sparse and vibrant style and Stieglitz's fervent and lyrical manner, the letters describe how they met and fell in love in the 1910s; how they carved out a life together in the 1920s; how their relationship nearly collapsed during the early years of the Depression; and how it was reconstructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. At the same time, the correspondence reveals the creative evolution of their art and ideas; their friendships with many of the most influential figures in early American modernism (Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and Paul Strand, to name a few); and their relationships and conversations with an exceptionally wide range of key figures in American and European art and culture (including Duncan Phillips, Diego Rivera, D. H. Lawrence, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Marcel Duchamp). Furthermore, their often poignant prose reveals insights into the impact of larger cultural forces World Wars I and II; the booming economy of the 1920s and the Depression of the 1930s on two articulate, creative individuals.
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