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Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
The Michael Scharf Family Collection
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)

Untitled (Abstraction/Portrait of Paul Strand)

Details
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
Untitled (Abstraction/Portrait of Paul Strand)
watercolor on paper
sight, 11 ¾ x 8 ¾ in. (29.8 x 22.2 cm.)
Executed in 1917.
Provenance
The artist.
Paul Strand, New York, gift from the above, circa 1920s.
Estate of the above.
[With]Washburn Gallery, New York.
The Ertegun Collection Group, New York, 1979.
[With]Terry Dintenfass, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1986.
Literature
B.B. Lynes, Georgia O’Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, New Haven, Connecticut, 1999, p. 112, no. 189, illustrated.
S. Greenough, ed., My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, New Haven, Connecticut, 2011, pp. 153n326, 155n332, 162n340, 163n343-44, 165n349, 168n360, 173n367.
B.B. Lynes, J. Weinberg, Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2011, p. 90.
A. Von Lintel, Georgia O’Keeffe: Watercolors 1916-1918, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2016, n.p., pl. 26, illustrated.
W.C. Agee, et al., The Scharf Collection: A History Revealed, New York, 2018, pp. 55, 57, 180, pl. 30, illustrated.
Exhibited
Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University, Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, The Modernist Tradition in American Watercolors, 1911-1939, April 5-June 22, 1991, p. 79, no. 37, cover illustration (as Untitled).
Andover, Massachusetts, Phillips Academy, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover Alumni Collectors, April 29-July 31, 1995.
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Santa Fe, New Mexico, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, O’Keeffe on Paper, April 9-October 29, 2000, pp. 47, 98, 139, no. 17, illustrated.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction, September 17, 2009-January 17, 2010, pp. 38, 129, 212, pl. 29, illustrated.

Brought to you by

William Haydock
William Haydock

Lot Essay

The present work is one of three abstract portraits by Georgia O'Keeffe of the photographer Paul Strand. Another version in the collection of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In May of 1917, O'Keeffe took a spur of the moment journey to New York from Canyon, Texas, to see Alfred Stieglitz for the closing of his first gallery, 291. During her stay in New York, which she described as "the most wonderful days of my life," O'Keeffe met and mingled with some of Stieglitz's other 291 artists for the first time, such as Abraham Walkowitz, Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Paul Strand. (as quoted in S. Greenough, ed., My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, New Haven, Connecticut, 2011, p. 150) Animated by the people and art she saw in New York, O'Keeffe arrived back in Canyon that June and created two series of abstract portraits--one of Kindred Watkins, an Amarillo local with whom O'Keeffe had a complicated romantic relationship, and Paul Strand, with whom she would exchange romantic letters over the coming months.

Soon after Alfred Stieglitz saw the abstract portraits of Strand and Watkins, he wrote to O'Keeffe in June 1917, "--Those paintings!--All three are remarkable--the Portrait uncanny--powerful--The red one--what can I say--I had to think of the first color things I saw of yours--Incredible this new work--" (as quoted in My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, p. 162)

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