Georgia O’Keeffe: Horse’s Skull with Pink Rose, 1931. Oil on Canvas.
The bleached white skull and delicate pink flower are typical subjects for Georgia O’Keeffe. What’s unusual about this 1931 painting is their presentation: on a parchment-like form, floating above a brilliant blue background.
Earlier, in the 1920s, O’Keeffe had specialized in flowers, painted in bright colors and on an extremely large scale. As she started spending more time in New Mexico and less in New York, she became fascinated with the bleached bones she found in the desert.
Although the horse’s skull depicted here reflects O’Keeffe’s new love the desert, the flower, the vivid colors and lyrical lines suggest her earlier paintings, making this an intriguing transitional work.