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Black Cross, New Mexico, by Georgia O'Keeffe

Black Cross, New Mexico, by Georgia O’Keeffe

Black Cross, New Mexico is one of a series of cross paintings that Georgia O’Keeffe produced in her first summer in the Southwest in 1929. She was fascinated by the omnipresence of these crosses in New Mexico, later recalling, “I saw the crosses so often … like a thin dark veil of the Catholic Church spread over the New Mexico landscape … For me, painting the crosses was a way of painting the country.” Here O’Keeffe contrasted the man-made cross’s powerfully stark geometry, isolated flat against the picture plane, with the distant brilliance of nature’s sunset and rolling hills.

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