Behind every male artist there stands a woman denied her fair share of acclaim. Afterthoughts in the histories of the artistic movements they helped to create, prevented from moving freely in the illustrious social circles and institutions open to their male counterparts, and often only finding the financial success they deserve posthumously, these are the incredible women artists both living and dead who have today carved out their places at the most prestigious and expensive auction houses in the world.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)
Known as the ‘Mother of American modernism’, Georgia O’Keeffe tops this list by a country mile. Her painting Jimson Weed/White Flower no. 1, completed in 1932 (and currently on show in London’s Tate Modern) sold at a Sotheby’s New York auction in 2014 for an eye-watering $44.4 million. O’Keeffe was particularly well known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, influenced by the evolving form and style of American modernist photographers, but also dedicated much of her attention to capturing the unique beauty of the northern New Mexico landscape, a favourite travel destination and eventual adopted home. Deeply in tune with the natural world, O’Keeffe’s works utilized a musical, emotional and hyper-sensitive approach to the way in which color and form play with and against one another. Read more