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Phillips de Pury & Company Announces Highlights from Its London Photographs Sale

LONDON.- Phillips de Pury & Company announced the highlights of the forthcoming London Photographs sale on the 3rd November 2010. The London Photographs department, a leader in the European market, will offer a full range of exciting works from diverse genres and movements integral to 20th and 21st century photography. The sale consists of 192 lots with a low estimate of £1,088,900 and a high estimate of £1,546,600.

“‘The sale for me really encompasses the versatility of photography in every way from the idea of what it is as a medium, the purposes it has served and how it is evolved and fed existing arenas. It is punctuated by the recognizable greats as well as pushing forward the new and exciting photographic practitioner in to the London market.”Lou Proud, Senior Specialist Photographs, London.


The Photographs department continues to offer pivotal works by Peter Lindbergh the work Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, British Vogue New York, 1987 estimated at £35,000-45,000 launched the careers of these future super models. The image of the then ‘lesser’ known models marked a turning point in the representation of the fashion model and the launch of the term ‘supermodel.’ The models’ effect on the fashion industry was colossal; the turn of the decade signaled a shift in attitudes and in January 1990 British Vogue commissioned Peter Lindbergh and cherry-picked five models to put on their cover. They created such a stir that a few months later George Michael chose the same five women to star in his music video for Freedom. A year later, Gianni Versace went on to create one of the famous moments in catwalk history by sending Cindy, Linda, Noami and Christy on to the runaway, singing along to George Michael’s video, the supers had officially hit their peak.

Fashion photography will also be represented with Horst P Horst’s seminal Round the Clock I, New York, 1987 estimated at £7,000-9,000 amongst other works by Lillian Bassman, Barry Lategan, Helmut Newton and Norman Parkinson.

Edward Steichen’s, Charlie Chaplin, 1925 estimated at £50,000-70, 000. From Steichen’s personal collection taken at the peak of Steichen’s success, the work depicts Charlie Chaplin who was also at the height of his career. The portrait shows classic positioning of the subject by Edward Steichen and also portrays many of his key concerns, for example lighting and influences of other art movements such as cubism and Art Deco.

From the latter part of the 20th Century we see two important portfolios by photographic masters, Henry Wessel and his portfolio Icons, 1968-89 estimated at £45,000-55,000 and Stephen Shore’s, Twelve Photographs estimated at £25,000-35,000; both portfolios sum up these photographers work with a selection of recognizable images. These works also represent the importance of American Photography in photographic history.

The auction will also feature early work by Wolfgang Tillmans, including Cle, 1992, and Smokin’ Jo window, 1995, two individual works being sold as a group which has a pre-sale estimate of £3,000-5,000. The works reflect continued interest in the photographer following an exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London 2010 and his talk at Frieze Art Fair, London 2010. These works will go on sale alongside desirable works by Nan Goldin,Joey at home dressed for Wigstock, NYC, 1991, estimated at £8,000-12,000 and Rineke Dijstra, Evgenya, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, December 9, 2002, estimated at £20,000-30,000 and Loretta Lux, The Walk, 2004 estimated at £9,000-12,000.

Documentary photography is strongly considered in the sale with Don McCullin’s, Early morning, West Hartlepool, County Durham, 1963, estimated at £2,500-3,500 which is an iconic image by the photographer printed in 1989; Chris Killip’s, Crabs and People, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire, 1981 estimated at £2,000-2,500 and two works from Martin Parr’s, The Last Resort series, both titled New Brighton, Merseyside estimated between £1,800-2,200. These images stand out in the minds of those who love and have collected photo for many years as well as being recognized by new collectors. Dave Heath’s, NYC (Man smoking in front of Cartier) 1958, estimated at £3,500-4,500. This work is from Heath’s seminal series A Dialogue with Solitude which brought him to the attention of collectors and photographs lovers. Tony Ray-Jones’, Blackpool, 1967 estimated to £1,500-2,500. Ray-Joneswho will have a retrospective in the UK later this year.

Phillips de Pury & Company’s Photographs department reintroduce Lewis Morely’s iconic work, Christine Keeler, 1963 estimated at £4,000-6,000. The work of Morely has been absent from the auction market for some time and is a fine example of a great quality print printed by the photographer. Alongside this, the sale will also offer Morely’s shot from the Anti-Vietnam Rally, Tariq Ali,Vanessa Regrave and Noel Tovey, Anti-Vietnam Rally, 1968, estimated at £1,800-2,200, featuring Vanessa Redgrave, Tariq Ali and a young Stephen Hawking during his last year at Cambridge. Photographs by Lewis Morely are rare to find in the public market as large part of his archive was donated to a UK museum collection.

Other highlights in the section on Japanese photography (lots 146-192) include work by Daido Moriyama, one of the most important Japanese photographers. The current lot, Cherry Blossom, 1972 estimated at £8,000-12,000 is a vintage print by Moriyama considered to be a museum piece. Of Moriyama’s work, Nobuyoshi Araki said: “I was so jealous of Moriyama’s nudes in the second issue…I wanted to join them but I wasn’t allowed …So I worked alone.”

Contemporary photography has a strong presence as always throughout the sale Florian Maier-Aichen’s Untitled (Cloud), 2001 estimated at £20,000-30,000. Maier Aichen’s artistic trajectory began in reaction to the stringent rules established by the highly influential Becher school of photography. Using only diffused light and a centered isolated subject Maier-Aichen presents a body of photographic work that offers an expanded approach beyond a realistic representation of his subject. The viewer is strategically maneuvered toward an ecstatic truth that is the result of calculated juxtapositions of multiple, and sometimes disparate, details. Instead of dictating the way in which the viewer should consider the image, Maier-Aichen physically places the viewer there by way of extreme angles and aerial viewpoints to allow the sensation to come out of the viewer’s on experience of the image. While using the strategies of documentary photography, Maier-Aichen utilizes a unique palette, unconventional vantage points, and combinations of photographs with hand rendered details to yield a body of work that is rich with historical and contemporary references.

Andreas Gefeller’s, Untitled (Parking Site 1), 2007, from Supervisions estimated at 10,000-15,000. The Supervisions series consists of shots from urban spaces, which enable not only views of public places and areas, but also provides bird’s eye views of enclosed spaces. Yet the impression of classical aerial photos from a great height emerges eventually as a delusion of our normal viewing patterns. With the help of complex photographic techniques, Gefeller manages to create ‘possible’ and ‘impossible’ perspectives. He fixes his camera onto a tripod attached to his body at the height of two metres. With the camera being perpendicular to the floor, it scans step by step the previously marked field. Finally, hundreds of photos will be assembled together and result in the overall picture. The detailed and highly dissolved view of the scanned surface as well as the several optical breaks, which are created though perspective mismatches, nonetheless reveal an unusual creation – the awareness of which can only be developed by the observer’s close attention. Through the use of extreme image sections as well as the loss of control and significant points, the designed supervisions are transformed into abstract pictorial compositions. Gefeller questions not only the objectivity of photography as a medium, but also nouns such as reality and alienation. Mostly it is time that influences his composition. This becomes obvious in the present lot, in which one can see the fading daylight and the growing darkness both at once.

The sale will also feature photographs from the Collection of Lisa Lyon including Robert Mapplethrope’s Lisa Lyon, 1982 estimated at £3,000-5,000.

Phillips de Pury & Company | London Photographs Sale | Lou Proud |

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