An Iconic Flower Painting by George O’Keeffe: WHITE CALLA LILY Estimated to Sell for $8–12 Million on Sotheby's
Sotheby’s annual spring auction of American Art will be held in New York on 20 May 2015. The sale is highlighted by White Calla Lily, an iconic flower painting by Georgia O’Keeffe that the artist kept in her own collection until her death in 1986, and which has remained in the same private collection for more than two decades. The auction will be on public exhibition beginning 16 May in Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters.
Following the sale of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s New York in November 2014 – more than three times the previous auction record for any work by a female artist – the May sale is led by another iconic flower painting by the artist: White Calla Lily from 1927 (above, estimate $8–12 million). Between 1918 and 1932 O’Keeffe executed over 200 flower paintings, but it was arguably in the calla lily that the artist found her ideal motif, one that provided the perfect synthesis of subject and form that now defines her most celebrated work. The artist clearly held the present painting in high regard, as she kept it in her personal collection until her death in 1986. In fact, the back of the painting features her star device, which she often used to mark her favored pieces. White Calla Lily was subsequently acquired by the present owner in 1994 from Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has not been shown in public since.
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