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Georgie O’Keeffe’s Late Paintings

THESE DAYS IT IS FASHIONABLE to believe that we already have an accurate picture of the quality art of the sixties. The idea that any important work is unknown to us seems out of the question. Yet there exists a body of work done during the decade of the sixties, almost unknown to the general art public, which I believe will endure when the media favorites of today have long faded. I am speaking of the recent paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe which rounded out her recent Whitney Museum retrospective.

The works in question were painted in virtual isolation in O’Keeffe’s barn at the remote Ghost Ranch, her adobe home high on a plateau in the New Mexico hills. Yet they share certain characteristics that link them to the most sophisticated abstract painting of the sixties. Large in size and simple in format, the recent works are single image field paintings rather than multi-focus compositions.

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