Georgia O’Keeffe was an American artist who is known for her revolutionary paintings and for being the leading figure of the art movement American Modernism, which started at the turn of the twentieth century. Her most famous artworks are those which provide a dramatically large, sensual close-up of flowers as if they are being seen through a magnifying lens. Know more about her art through her 10 most famous paintings.
#10 Oriental Poppies
This painting was declared a ground-breaking art masterpiece upon its release. O’Keeffe has used her customary method of magnifying the flower to allow the viewer to appreciate the flower’s beauty with all its details like he/she has never done before. There is an absence of context and background behind the two giant poppy flowers. Thus they are presented in a new light as pure abstracts.
#9 Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills
This painting, which depicts an enlarged ram’s skull and a hollyhock flower placed symbolically in front of a landscape and sky, is considered important in the development of O’Keeffe’s artistic career. The juxtaposition of skeletal, flora, and landscape images brought renewed interest in her art.
#8 Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1
This painting, which depicts a large blossom of Jimson Weed, fetched $44.4m (£28m) at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York in November 2014. It broke the record of not only the highest price paid for an O’Keeffe work but also became world’s most expensive painting by a woman, more than doubling the previous record of $11.9m.
#7 Sky Above Clouds IV
In her later years Georgia was captivated by the views she saw from the airplane window while traveling around the world. This led to her famous cloudscapes series which depict clouds seen from above. Sky Above Clouds IV is the most ambitious work of the series and has been compared to Claude Monet’s famous waterlilies murals.
#6 Summer Days
Among her most well-known works, Summer Days features a deer’s skull and several South-western flowers on top of a background of barren desert landscape. Georgia O’Keeffe frequently set up bones against a landscape in her works and this painting is considered the most brilliant among them.
#5 Blue and Green Music
Based on “the idea that music could be translated into something for the eye”, this aesthetically pleasing work uses a surge of colors and forms aimed to evoke the experience of listening to a masterpiece. It remains a source of inspiration for not only painters but also music artists.
#4 Red Canna
O’Keeffe depicted flowers like never before and they remain her most sought after works. This representation of the red canna flower is one of her most celebrated flower paintings. In it O’Keeffe masterfully chooses vivid and bright colors to captivate the viewer. The 36 inch canvas is filled with a vastly enlarged fragment of the blossom.
#3 Radiator Building — Night, New York
This painting is the most famous work of the series of landscapes of New York that Georgia painted between 1925 and 1930. It depicts the American Radiator Building in midtown Manhattan. It captures the skyscraper at night with its illuminated windows. It is also noted for beautifully depicting the artificial light of the city.
#2 Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue
At the time this famous painting was created, many American artists in various fields were creating works based on American subjects and carving for them a unique American identity. Instead of representing the prevalent ideas of America at the time, O’Keeffe depicts a cow skull at the center of the painting with the three colors of the American flag behind it. The picture has since become a quintessential icon of the American West.
#1 Black Iris III
Georgia O’Keeffe is most famous for her dramatically large, sensual close-up of the flowers as if they are being seen through a magnifying lens. Some of them are considered veiled representation of the female flesh most prominently her iconic depictions of irises; though O’Keeffe stated that she was just painting what she saw. Black Iris III is the most famous depiction of the flower by O’Keeffe.