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Phillips announces highlights from May Photographs Auction
Helena Almeida (1934-2018), Seduzir [Seduce], 2002. Estimate: £50,000-70,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

LONDON.- Phillips will present Photographs in London, an auction of 162 lots taking place on 16 May at 2pm BST. Available for sale only at Phillips is ULTIMATE, a multifaceted selection of exclusive works ranging from rare masterpieces to unique works and sold-out editions. This Spring, Photographs will also feature ULTIMATE EDITORIAL, celebrating collaborative creativity in ten captivating photographs by today’s leading and emerging forces in fashion, from legendary photographer Steven Meisel to rising star Txema Yeste. The Photographs sale showcases the work of Man Ray, Witkacy, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irving Penn and Gregory Crewdson, among others.

Genevieve Janvrin & Yuka Yamaji, Co-Heads of Photographs, Europe, said, “This season we are incredibly excited to be offering so many fresh-to market works with ULTIMATE, including our cover lot by Anne Collier, Helena Almeida’s unique work Seduzir, and two rare vintage prints from Ishiuchi Miyako’s Yokosuka Story. We are also thrilled to present ULTIMATE EDITORIAL, a carefully curated selection of photographs which truly captures the diversity and creativity in fashion photography today. The extraordinary calibre of photographs featured in this curation is a testament to the power of collaborative creativity.”

Leading ULTIMATE is Helena Almeida’s unique Seduzir [Seduce], 2002, hailing from a body of work Almeida created between 2000 and 2002 (estimate: £50,000-70,000). For her painstakingly detailed creative process, Almeida begins with preparatory drawings of choreography that she faithfully follows in the studio. She then films herself, observing how her body moves and explores the space. Once perfected, her private performance is photographed by her husband Arthur Rosa.

Anne Collier photographs found objects and appropriated imagery, exemplified by Folded Madonna Poster (Steven Meisel), 2007 in this sale; a once-folded poster of Madonna from a photograph taken by Steven Meisel for her 1993 single ‘Bad Girl’ (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Influenced by the work of Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons and other ‘Pictures Generation’ artists, Collier re-contextualises popular imagery and visual clichés. She challenges how photography structures our ways of seeing by drawing our attention to these mechanics, as seen in the present work.

ULTIMATE also offers fresh works by eight artists debuting at auction, including Andrew Zuckerman’s hyperreal portrait of a grizzly bear standing nearly three metres tall, Yuji Hamada’s study of the Rubik’s Cube through the Polaroid emulsion-lift technique, and Jinhee Kim’s hand-embroidered Labor of Love diptych.

The ten captivating images in ULTIMATE EDITORIAL were created for editorial since 2011, and appeared originally in magazines such as Vogue, LOVE and Numéro. All ten works have been released exclusively for ULTIMATE EDITORIAL and are either completely unique or from an edition of one in a unique size. The subjects in these photographs, including considerable star power from Naomi Campbell and Guinevere van Seenus to Cara Delevingne and Liu Wen, have forged strong relationships with the artists that continue to this day. As seen here, these collaborations have produced defining images that reflect and inform our society and visual culture.

Leading ULTIMATE EDITORIAL is Steven Meisel’s Naomi Campbell, New York City, 2019, the very image featured on the March 2019 cover of British Vogue. The work captures the creative collaboration between two legends of fashion – image-maker Steven Meisel and supermodel Naomi Campbell – who have defined key moments in our social history and visual culture for over 30 years. Here, through multiple exposure and deliberate blurring, Meisel has created a surreal composition.

The Photographs sale celebrates the legacy of Man Ray with La Prière, a desirable work from 1930. The model pictured is Lee Miller who not only posed for Man Ray during their short-lived, tumultuous relationship, but also collaborated with him to choreograph iconic images such as La Prière. By the 1930s, nudes comprised an important portion of Man Ray’s oeuvre, and La Prière is one of a select number of early works that he revisited, producing small editions as both gelatin silver prints and gelatin silver emulsion on linen. The work offered here was acquired in 1982 from Italian art historian and curator Arturo Schwarz and has been in the same collection for over 35 years. Widely respected as a leading authority on Surrealism and Dadaism, Schwarz championed Man Ray and exhibited his work at his influential Milan gallery Galleria Schwarz, which he operated from 1954 to 1975. This work is number six from the edition of seven that Man Ray printed on linen and is one of the few images he is known to have created in this way.

The sale offers further exceptional works by Annie Leibovitz, Richard Mosse, and Thomas Ruff, among others.

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