Inside Georgia O’Keeffe and Agnes Martin’s Unexpected Friendship
Art Business

Inside Georgia O’Keeffe and Agnes Martin’s Unexpected Friendship

The poster points to Martin’s admiration for the already-famous artist, who was nearly 25 years her senior, and hints at a deeper relationship between the two—one of friendship, encouragement, and shared dreams. By Martin’s account , the painters first crossed paths in the early 1940s in New York. Martin was studying at the Teachers College of Columbia University, where she’d surely have been aware of O’Keeffe’s canvases that blended landscape, still-life, and abstraction. O’Keeffe had two solo exhibitions at Alfred Stieglitz ’s Manhattan gallery, An American Place, between ’41 and ’42 and was a well-known entity among artists—especially female painters seeking role models for navigating the deeply sexist, male-dominated art establishment. As scholar Henry Martin (no relation) pointed out in his 2018 book, Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon , “it was unavoidable that Agnes would be attracted to Georgia as America’s preeminent female painter.” It wasn’t until 1946, after Martin relocated from New York to New Mexico (with many stops in between), that the two painters had their first significant interactions. O’Keeffe had already been spending long swaths of time in the state at her desert haven, Ghost Ranch, when Martin landed in the area for her first 10-year […]

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