American Modernism

In the early 20th century, American modernists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Sheeler, and Thomas Hart Benton began developing new styles and subject matter to reflect the modernization of the United States. “What do we call ‘American’ outside of painting?” the painter Arthur Dove emblematically wrote. “Inventiveness, restlessness, speed, change.” Embracing these qualities, American Modernism was far from a cohesive style, ranging from Grant Wood’s realistic portraits of farmers to Stanton MacDonald-Wright’s swirling abstract compositions. On the auction market, record sales for American Modernism include O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932) at $44.4 million, Stuart Davis’s Rue Lipp (1928) at $6.8 million, and Marsden …

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