Red sunrise

By Ingrid Fetell Lee


“Sunrise” by Georgia O’Keefe. Featured in the exhibit Dove/O’Keefe: Circles of Influence at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. The exhibit traces the mutual influence and development of early American abstract painter Arthur Dove and the very famous Georgia O’Keefe.

O’Keefe’s work is usually perceived to have sensual overtones (all those unfurling flowers) but there is also a naively, viscerally joyful quality to her work as well. Dove’s work, too, speaks to me of a certain joyful spirit as well, particularly this painting.

To me, the aesthetics of joy really come alive in abstraction. Removed from clear representation, emotion is carried by color, form, texture, light, and gesture. If the artist can replicate the emotional response s/he felt on first experience, or even intensify or modulate it, using form unmoored from its object, it is an enormous statement on the power of aesthetics as emotional language.

NYT: “Partners in Abstraction, Viewed in Tandem”
Thanks, Dad, for the tip

August 21st, 2009


Lost your spark?

The Joy Jumpstart is a 7-day, self-guided program to help you break out of a rut and reconnect with what makes you feel truly alive.

Leave a Comment

What's killing your joy? Take this 3-minute quiz to find out.
Free Resource

Find more joy every day

Our free workbook has 5 simple strategies that will make life better right now.

You'll also receive periodic updates on new things from The Aesthetics of Joy. We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.