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Lot 130: Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)

Est: $700,000 USD - $900,000 USDSold:
Sotheby'sNovember 28, 2001New York, NY, US

Item Overview


Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) the barns, lake george signed with the artist's initials O.K. inside her five-pointed star device on a piece of the original backing affixed to the reverse; also inscribed The Barns-Lake George, 1926/by Georgia O'Keeffe in Alfred Stieglitz's hand on an old label on the reverse oil on canvas 21 by 32 1/4 in. (53.3 by 81.9cm.) Painted in 1926. From 1919 until 1928, Georgia O'Keeffe divided her time between New York City and the Adirondacks, spending each summer at Stieglitz's farmhouse in Lake George. The summers in the country were a respite from the bustle of city life, and provided O'Keeffe with both time to paint and an abundant source of subject matter for her flower paintings, still lifes and landscapes. Painted in 1926, The Barns, Lake George belongs to a group of works in which O'Keeffe explored the interaction between man-made structures and their natural surroundings. In the present painting, the old farm buildings are rendered as abstracted, rectilinear forms juxtaposed against the sinuous curves of the land and sky. Other artists of the Stieglitz circle, including Stieglitz himself, had explored farm buildings as a subject, and barns were a common motif in the work of Precisionist artist Charles Sheeler. In Sheeler's work, however, farm buildings are painted with the same hard-edged, geometric precision he used to depict factories and machines. O'Keeffe's delicate handling of paint and her rich, earthy palette give the barns in the present work the appearance of organic outgrowths of their natural environment. While architecture is not an especially common motif in O'Keeffe's visual vocabulary, The Barns, Lake George was included in a selection of solo exhibitions that helped establish O'Keeffe as an important American Modernist. It was first exhibited at The Intimate Gallery in 1927, along with a variant called The Side of the Barn (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota). More importantly, the painting was included in O


21 by 32 1/4 in.

Artist or Maker


The Downtown Gallery, New York Mr. and Mrs. Walter H. Lurie, New York, 1946 By descent in the Lurie family Kennedy Galleries, New York Private Collection, Shelburne, Vermont, 1974 James Maroney, New York, 1983 Private Collection, Sands Point, New York, 19

Auction Details

American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture

November 28, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

1334 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10021, US