Georgia O’Keeffe’s a sunflower from Maggie at Christie’s auction

New Delhi, March 3 (IANSlife) Georgia O’Keeffe’s ‘A Sunflower from Maggie’,1937, will be a featured highlight in Christie’s 20th Century Art Evening Sale in New York this May. The painting was deaccessioned from the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, collection and will be sold to benefit acquisitions for the Museum (estimate: $6- $8 million).

Emily Kaplan, Christie’s Specialist and Co-Head of 20th Century Evening Sale, remarks, “It is an honour to partner with the MFA on the sale of Georgia O’Keeffe’s A Sunflower from Maggie to benefit acquisitions for the museum. A truly iconic image from one of the finest 20th century American modernists, this work is a leading example of American painting of the pre-war era. While flowers are a classic signature of the artist’s oeuvre, sunflower canvases by O’Keeffe are in fact quite rare; this stands as one of just six sunflower paintings she made in her lifetime. We are proud to offer it at Christie’s this spring to support the museum’s ongoing initiative to diversify and expand the development of its collection.”

Tylee Abbott, Christie’s Specialist and Head of Department, American Art, remarks, “Beyond the steeped history of this compelling subject, and its rarity within O’Keeffe’s oeuvre, ‘A Sunflower from Maggie’ represents everything that one looks for in a masterwork by the artist–representational at first glance, yet incredibly nuanced and complex in her distinctive manner. Directed by the petals, the mesmerising central oculus of the sunflower invites the viewer deep into the painting, allowing one to completely lose themselves in the work. It is precisely this type of experience and its universal appeal that has launched O’Keeffe on to the international stage and established her in the annals of art history.”

Samantha Koslow, Christie’s Director, Museums, Institutions and Corporate Collections, remarks, “It is an honour to partner with the MFA, Boston, to help support the funding future acquisitions. Museums are our most important cultural partners and we are grateful for the opportunity to help support the Museum’s goals.”

Georgia O’Keeffe has become a defining figure in American art history. She is well-known for her large-scale abstract modernist paintings, as well as her trademark floral iconography and desert motifs, and has had a career spanning well over half a century. Maggie’s Sunflower has all of the characteristics of her most coveted artworks. The Maggie in the title refers to Margaret Johnson, O’Keeffe’s friend and neighbour in New Mexico, as well as the wife of the President of Johnson & Johnson. A Sunflower from Maggie has been widely exhibited in prestigious institutions, most recently the North Carolina Museum of Art (2012).

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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