The record/ Georgia O’ Keefe’s flower power

“When Georgia O’Keeffe paints flowers, she does not paint fifty flowers stuffed into a dish. On most of her canvases there appeared one gigantic bloom, its huge feathery petals furled into some astonishing pattern of color and shade and line…It is enough to say that Miss O’Keeffe’s paintings are as full of passion as the verses of Solomon’s Song.” These are the words that were printed in TIME magazine back in 1928. Today though, it is enough to say that the woman best known for her flower paintings set a new auction record for the most expensive work of art by a woman.

On Thursday, “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s, almost triple the auction house’s high estimate whilst the hammer price is 4 times higher than the previous record holder, Joan Mitchell.

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. 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”.