Sky above Clouds IV

Blended rows of light blue, white and pink make up the horizon and move down the painting to show white circles on a gradually darker blue ground.
© The Art Institute of Chicago

Image actions

  • Blended rows of light blue, white and pink make up the horizon and move down the painting to show white circles on a gradually darker blue ground.

Date:

1965

Artist:

Georgia O'Keeffe
American, 1887–1986

About this artwork

In her seventies, Georgia O’Keeffe traveled in an airplane for the first time and was fascinated at the view looking down on the earth and the clouds. Around 1963, working in Abiquiu, New Mexico, she began a series featuring endless expanses of clouds. Starting with a relatively realistic depiction of small white clouds on a three-by-four-foot canvas, she progressed to more stylized images of the motif on larger surfaces, ultimately extending her idea across a canvas that spanned the entire twenty-four-foot width of her garage in Sky above Clouds IV, the culmination of the series. The painting was scheduled for installation in a 1970 retrospective of O’Keeffe’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Sky above Clouds IV was never shown in San Francisco, however, because it could not fit through any door of the museum. The painting remained on loan to the Art Institute for more than a decade while the artist and public-minded collectors of her art arranged for it to become part of the permanent collection. This continued the special relationship between O’Keeffe and the Art Institute, which dates to 1905, when she was briefly a student at the School of the Art Institute; in 1943 her first museum retrospective was organized at the Art Institute. O’Keeffe presented the museum with an important group of modernist works, including a number of her own, in 1949, and she continued to make significant additions to this bequest until her death in 1986.

On View

American Art, Gallery 249

Artist

Georgia O'Keeffe

Title

Sky above Clouds IV

Origin

United States

Date

1965

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

243.8 × 731.5 cm (96 × 288 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Paul and Gabriella Rosenbaum Foundation; gift of Georgia O'Keeffe

Reference Number

1983.821

Copyright

© The Art Institute of Chicago

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share