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Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed, White Flower No 1 sets auction record for female artist


Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed, White Flower No 1 has sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s auction, setting a record for an artwork by a female artist.

The artwork smashes the previous record of $11.9 million for an untitled work by Joan Mitchell, set in May.

Sotheby’s in New York said the $15 million estimate on Georgia O’Keeffe’s work was shattered after an intense bidding war between two rivals.

The art auction record is $142.4 million for Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucien Freud in 2013.

Georgia O’Keeffe, who died in 1986 at the age of 98, was celebrated for her large-format depictions of flowers which she painted as if they had been seen in close-up.

Her Jimson Weed, White Flower No 1 smashed her previous best of $6.2 million set in 2001, and was one of three works which were placed in the sale.

It was offered at auction by the O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which holds a large body of the artist’s works.

The proceeds of the sale will be put towards the museum’s acquisitions funds.

Georgia O’Keeffe worked for much of her earlier life in New York, where she captured the city’s overwhelming architecture, but later moved to New Mexico, where she painted its huge landscapes.

Elizabeth Goldberg, Sotheby’s head of American painting, said the landmark sale “places Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in the top tier of 20th Century artists on the market internationally, where it has always belonged”.

Sotheby’s added that her floral images “stand among the most recognizable images in both art history and popular culture”.

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