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Sex sells, especially when the art world knows you’re having a lot of it with a prominent photographer and dealer. The sexuality of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings—floral, yonic, seductive—cannot be disputed, and on display at the Phillips Collection’s “Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction,” it’s bolstered by a selection of pretty steamy boudoir shots taken by Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe’s lover and mentor. O’Keeffe had no problem shilling the illusion of sex; she claimed observers were projecting their own erotic thoughts onto her work. But later in her career, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, she created paintings like Black Door With Red, and Sky Above Clouds III/Above the Clouds III that were geometric and chaste (as well as forward-thinking). Her intentions were plain: She might as well have been wearing a T-shirt reading my face is up here.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY, AND SATURDAY, 10 A.M. TO 8:30 P.M THURSDAY, AND 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. SUNDAY TO MAY 9 AT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION, 1600 21ST ST. NW. $10-$12. 202-387-2151.