Black Cross, New Mexico was created by modern artist Georgia O’Keeffe in 1929. The painting depicts what O’Keeffe encountered during late-night walks in the desert which would have been crosses erected near remote moradas, or chapels, by secret Catholic lay brotherhoods called Penitentes. As O’Keeffe approached all of her subjects, whether buildings or flowers, landscapes or bones, she magnified shapes and simplified details to underscore their essential beauty.
O’Keeffe is often looked at as the “Mother Of American Modernism”.
O’Keeffe fell in love with the desert region of the country, especially New Mexico. She eventually settled permanently in the area in 1949 and resided there until she passed away at the age of ninety-eight in 1986.