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Georgia O’Keeffe’s visions of the faraway

Her masterful paintings blended the Baroque with the strange, says Sarah Churchwell

In January 1923, a 35-year-old painter named Georgia O’Keeffe mounted her first major exhibition of 100 works, including oils, watercolours, pastels and drawings. One of the people who attended the opening in New York was Marcel Duchamp, whose display of a urinal he called Fountain had caused an uproar in the art world six years earlier. Duchamp approached her, O’Keeffe recalled many years later, and demanded, “But where is your self-portrait? Everyone has a self-portrait in his first show.” O’Keeffe would continue to…

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