Published: May 20, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — At Christie’s spring sale of American art on May 19, a large-scale painting by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986), “Lake George Reflection,” painted circa 1921–22, from the collection of J.E. Safra, led the day at $12,933,000. Inspired by O’Keeffe’s frequent visits to the family home of Alfred Stieglitz, the work continued in the tradition of earlier Hudson River School painters inspired by the sublime topography of the region, but was interpreted in O’Keeffe’s avant-garde style of abstraction. The painting can be viewed either vertically or horizontally and this ambiguity of orientation creates a work that is at once highly representational and wholly abstract. First exhibited in 1923 by the artist at the Anderson Galleries, the work was hung vertically, encouraging anthropomorphic comparisons most closely relating to her magnified flower imagery, which she was simultaneously exploring.
The sale of 98 lots totaled $42,737,500 with 68 perrent sold by lot and 79 percent sold by value. It offered works ranging from major American Modernists O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove and Max Weber to Nineteenth Century masters Frederic Edwin Church, John Singer Sargent and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Several private collections highlighted the auction, including the collection of Kippy Stroud, the Gail and John Liebes collection, property of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest and the collection of Lois and Harry Horvitz.
Watch for a full report on the sale to follow.
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