Georgia O’Keeffe is an American artist known for her depictions of the American Southwest, flowers, and abstract landscapes. Born in Wisconsin in 1887, O’Keeffe attended the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York City in 1918. There, she became associated with the Stieglitz Circle, a group of avant-garde artists led by photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who exhibited and promoted her work.
O’Keeffe’s most valuable works of art include her abstract landscapes of the American Southwest, such as the iconic “Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II” (1930). This painting depicts a mountain range in black and white, with a white moon nestled in the center, surrounded by a sky of inky blue. “Black Mesa Landscape” is considered one of O’Keeffe’s signature works, and was prized at over $40 million when it was sold at auction in 2018.
Another valuable O’Keeffe work is “Jimson Weed / White Flower No. 1” (1932), a large-scale painting of a white flower that measures over four feet high by three feet wide. This painting was also sold for over $40 million at auction, making it the highest priced work by a female artist at the time. O’Keeffe painted several other works featuring the same type of flower, but this painting is considered the most iconic.
O’Keeffe also painted several depictions of New Mexico landscapes, including “Pedernal” (1941), an abstract representation of a mountain that was one of her favorites. In this painting, the mountain is depicted in shades of white, yellow, and brown, with a red and orange background, evoking the vibrant colors of the New Mexico desert. “Pedernal” is valued at over $13 million.
Another notable O’Keeffe work is “Pelvis with the Distance” (1943), an abstract representation of a pelvis bone that incorporates elements of landscape and abstraction. The painting features a white pelvis bone set against a blue and purple background, with a series of concentric circles in yellow and red. The circles are said to represent the distance between the pelvis and O’Keeffe’s eye as she painted it. “Pelvis with the Distance” is valued at over $8 million.
In addition to her paintings, O’Keeffe also created a series of photographs of flowers that are highly acclaimed. These black and white photographs showcase the intricate details of flowers in extreme close-up, creating abstract images that express the beauty and complexity of nature. One of her most famous photographs is “Black Iris III” (1926), which was featured on a U.S. postage stamp in 1996.
Overall, Georgia O’Keeffe’s most valuable works of art reflect her unique style and vision, which incorporated abstract forms, bold colors, and natural elements. Her paintings and photographs are treasured for their beauty and emotional resonance, and continue to command high prices at auction and inspire artists around the world.