11/16/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Georgia O'Keeffe Arrives At The Whitney

There are two types of people Barbara Haskell hopes to surprise with the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition opening on Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Whitney Museum of American Art: those who love O'Keeffe for her famous flowers and those who deride her for them.

The show, which consists of more than 130 pieces, highlights O'Keeffe's little known abstract works, many of which she made early in her career, before her focus shifted to the more representational paintings of flowers, animal bones, and landscapes for which she is best known. In an interview Tuesday, Ms. Haskell, who led the curatorial team, said the exhibition aims both to advance the idea that O'Keeffe was at heart an abstractionist, and to rescue her from critics who for years have written off her work as decorative and commercial kitsch.

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