Frank Lloyd Wright/Georgia O’Keeffe: Duets by Llorenc Bonet Harper Design International (2004) Paperback
This book was a surprising discovery, an architect and an artist with two seemingly distinct styles mixed together on the same pages?! Crazy. Not so much though, Bonet assures us in the introduction that these people are ‘two pioneers of US art’, in that they never joined avant-garde or fashionable movements happening in Europe. Instead they determined to create their own course in creating, and in doing so reflected the art and style of a nation, the United States.
The structure of this book lends to the melding of ideas that created both Wright’s and O’Keefe’s iconic styles. Bonet starts with a section on only Wright and his ‘turbulent private life’, letting the reader know they are in for an adventure, accompanied by gorgeous glossy photos of Wright’s architecture. There is a lovely assortment of Wright’s work with many photos detailing different angles of each of Wright’s houses, along with clear descriptions of how it was made, increasing my appreciation of the artist’architect’s skill. Bonet’s writing makes for easy, smooth reading and a firm grasp on Wright’s concepts and style.
The middle of the book is filled with side-by-side comparisons of O’Keefe and Wright showing both artists had visions of open space, and had a deep connection with nature. Here is where I’m most enthralled. I would never have put these two artists together but I’m glad Harper Design did. Both artists accomplished phenomenal pieces in their careers and their visions are distinct yet hold the same ideas and feelings behind them. The artists seem to have gone through similar hardships in their lives, and both take inspiration from many of the same things.
The next section is a biography of O’Keeffe and some of her paintings and processes are explained. This section is just as comprehensive as the first about Wright. Overall this book was an eye-opening fun run through great art, showing how many different possibilities can be taken from the same source of inspiration. What great range art encompasses!