This monumental flower painting is one of O'Keeffe's early masterpieces. Enlarging the petals far beyond lifesize proportions, she forces the viewer to observe the small details that might otherwise be overlooked. When paintings from this group were first shown in 1924, even Alfred Stieglitz, her husband and dealer, was shocked by their audacity. Critics saw sexual content in their delicate contours, organic forms, and lush surfaces, even though the artist always denied such associations.
"It now seems abundantly clear that, in spite of her vehement denials, O'Keeffe meant some of her paintings (not just the flowers) to look vaginal," Randall writes. "Works such as Abstraction Seaweed and Water - Maine and Flower Abstraction overtly allude to female genitalia." Randall Griffin, "Georgia O'Keeffe: The Question of Gender". http://de.phaidon.com/agenda/art/articles/2014/february/05/what-do-you-see-in-georgia-okeeffes-flowers/