A masterwork by Georgia O’Keeffe has topped a Christie’s American Art sale in New York.
Lake George Reflection, painted circa 1921-22, surpassed its estimate to sell for $12,933,000, the second-highest auction price ever achieved by the artist.
The enigmatic work was painted in upstate New York whilst O’Keeffe visited the family of her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
Hung horizontally, it represented a colourful view of the landscape surrounding the “Queen of American Lakes”; but O’Keeffe also intended the work to be hung vertically, drawing comparisons with her anthropomorphic flower paintings and creating a double layer of meaning.
The auction offered a further four O’Keefe works, all of which brought strong results, including ‘Red Hills with Pedernal, White Clouds’ and ‘The Barns, Lake George’, which both sold from the collection of renowned museum curator Kippy Stroud for $4.53 and $3.3 million respectively.
The sale also achieved a new artist record for Rebecca Salsbury James, whose work Fire and Air sold for $509,000.
“Impressive prices were realized for major American modernists, Georgia O’Keeffe and Max Weber, and 19th-century masters, John Singer Sargent and Alfred Jacob Miller alike,” said Elizabeth Beaman, Head of Christie’s American Art Department.
“The range of prices realized shows a broad interest in the category from new buyers to established collectors. We are also pleased to see active online participation, continuing momentum from our mid-season online-only sale in March.”