announced the sale of an important French Photographic Collection on Wednesday 30 May 2018. The collection assembled over a period of more than 30 years features 47 photographic masterpieces by Brassaï, Nan Goldin, Louise Lawler, Robert Mapplethorpe, Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Andres Serrano and others, each with a remarkable international provenance. Every photographer is represented by an emblematic work, with meticulous attention paid to choice of print.
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE, THE SCULPTED BODY
Among the highlights of the collection is a series of four portraits by Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-89), also owned by the Guggenheim and MOMA in New York. They feature Ajitto, his celebrated model, photographed in the same pose from four different angles. Mapplethorpe sought perfection in form in all his portraits, from nudes to flowers. This four-part nude study (est. 90,000-120,000), with its taut muscles, reflects his quest for linear and bodily perfection. The portraits of Ajitto are greatly inspired by sculpture, and bring Rodin to mind. Photography is a quick way of creating a sculpture explained Mapplethorpe. Each print, assembled to compose this ideal polyptich of the male body, was the subject of a lengthy search by the collector.
ANDRES SERRANO, The Iconoclast
Andres Serrano (born 1950), hero of a solo show at the Petit Palais in Paris in 2017, is a prominent figure on the international contemporary art scene provocatively asking the viewer to confront what he cannot see. In his famous Black Supper polyptych (est. 100,000-150,000), one of Serranos most charismatic allegories, Jesus and his apostles are submerged in a spray of effervescent bubbles exuding mystic vitality.
LOUISE LAWLER, A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH
Other major works in the collection include prints by Louise Lawler (born 1947) who, alongside Jeff Koons and Barbara Kruger, is a key figure in the American 1980s movement Simulationism. Her conceptual approach involves photographs of famous works of art in their environment: museums, private collections, galleries, exhibitions, auctions or reserves. By focusing on the relationship between the work and where it is shown, Lawler questions the system of legitimizing art: the museum, the hanging and the conditions in which works are presented affect how we apprehend them. Her approach is embodied in works like Black And White from 1987 (est 80,000-100,000) and Auction II (Jackie O/ Lionskins) from 1990 (est. 50,000-60,000).
NAN GOLDIN, DOCUMENTING LIFE
Nan Goldin (born 1953) photographs her entourage, friends and family as candidly as possible: no pose, no big intentions, just paying tribute to what they are. Ever since she was 15, Goldin has been capturing moments: an intimate couple, a drag queen, parties, solitude or, most recently, childhood. Käthe In The Tub West Berlin (1984) and Kee at the Paramount Hotel, NYC (1995) reflect Goldins intimate photographic diary. The two photographs to be offered at PIASA reflect crude, tender, violent cross-over from Goldins personal life. For me, it is not a detachment to take a picture she says. Its a way of touching somebody: its a caress.