Freud | Gender

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), the renowned Austrian psychoanalyst, was fascinated by what art could reveal about the human psyche. Following the translation of his essays into English in the 1910s, Freud's ideas infiltrated American culture and informed the pairing of Dove and O'Keeffe in the eyes of art critics. Gender was now seen as a fundamental component in understanding an artist's images, and critics responded to the supposedly "masculine" and "feminine" aspects of Dove's and O'Keeffe's work. These interpretations frustrated and discomforted O'Keeffe. Dove, however, recognized that the critical analyses linking his work with O'Keeffe's helped solidify his place in the New York art scene.

Georgia O'Keeffe, "Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. VI," 1930. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe [Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.]
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