The Shelton having opened just the year previous was then the tallest hotel in the world. The painting emphasizes the industrial tones from the waterfront at East River looking across to Long Island City in Queens. The precise angles of the buildings and protruding chimneys spewing their acrid smoke, epitomizes how life must have been during this era.
East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel is an oil based painting on canvas measuring only 30.5 x 81.3 cm and is one of many similarly dynamic pieces. During O'Keeffe's time in New York City she painted and drew twenty five other cityscapes. She overcame criticism from fellow artists of her time who believed she should focus on her more floral based paintings to which they were accustomed to.
Modern art was introduced to O'Keeffe by Arthur Dove who is remembered for being America's first abstract painter, Georgia then moved on and embraced what is known as precisionist style and used it to create thought provoking works. Whilst Manhatten in the daytime appears cold and uninviting to the eye some of her other nightscape paintings totally contrast this. For example, Radiator Building exudes the illumination and fun that after dark can hold in this city.
This artist was enamored by a couple of places and she spread her time living across both Manhatten and New Mexico. Her paintings took on many forms alongside her structural images at the Shelton. Her flowers took on the female form beautifully and her desert landscapes took on many forms. Countless artists have been inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's full lifetime of work and collections of these have been collated in various museums around the world including Saatchi Art. East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel has been housed in many museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New British Museum of American Art.