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Christie's France announces highlights from its contemporary photography sale
Thomas Struth, Paradise 7, Daintree / Australia, 1998. Tirage chromogénique, monté sous diasec signé et numéroté '9/10' '#7329' au crayon sur une étiquette portant le titre et la date (dos du cadre) image: 221.5 x 171.5 cm. (87º x 67¡ in.) feuille: 224 x 177.5 cm. (88 x 69√ in.) Ce tirage est le numéro neuf d'une édition de dix exemplaires. €40,000–60,000 ©Thomas Struth.

PARIS.- As part of the Paris Photo fair taking in place in November, three events will be hosted by Christie’s including a monographic sale dedicated to Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, on 8th November 2018.

A general sale dedicated this year to contemporary photography and composed of 104 lots will be organised the same day. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover a fashion photography exhibition showcasing nearly fifty photographs by F.C. Gundlach and works from his personal collection.

For each sale, the Photography department directed by Elodie Morel, selects high quality corpus including a series of 7 ethnographic portraits by Irving Penn, in which the aesthetics and the care taken to stage the scene, prevail over the historical and sociological character of the indigenous populations. In 1970, Penn traveled to Papua New Guinea. He first visited the tribal village of Bena, not far from the city of Goroka, where he took pictures of the natives and their traditional accessories: bilas (shell ornaments) as in Seated Warrior, Sitting Girl (€20,000- 25,000), or feathers and fur decorations. In the Asaro Valley, Penn immortalized naked men with clay masks, performers of a tribal dance organised by the Australian colonizers in 1957, as in Three Asaro Mudmen (€50,000-70,000). The portraits, shooted in itinerant studios located in different villages, revealed more attention to details, ornaments, skin textures, and clearly emphasized by the beauty of platinum prints.

A dozen of photographs from Josef Koudelka’s Gitans series, will certainly attract sensitive collectors to the power of these desolate portraits and settings seized on the spot. The photographs are all signed, a particularity he did in the early days of his career (€15,000-30,000).

A corpus from the Dusseldorf School will also be offered at auction including a print by Thomas Struth, Paradise 7 and Daintree / Australia (€40,000-60,000), in which one can find his quest for origins through a disproportionate nature. Another print Untitled XII No 2 (€30,000-40,000) by Andreas Gursky from the Untitled XII series in 1999, represents pages taken from a German novel: Der Mann Ohne Eigenschaften (The Man Without Qualities), an unfinished novel by Austrian writer Robert Musil. If at first glance it seems that Gursky simply took a picture of each page, after a careful look one can see that the artist has digitally manipulated the text and reformulated some sentences.

This operation, applied to a major text from twentieth-century classic literature, reveals the photographer's desire to question the dogmas of official culture while highlighting optical perception’s limits.

Further highlights of the sale include Francis Bacon's 1979 portrait by Richard Avedon, estimated at €70,000-90,000. Avedon expressed all his virtuosity in this portrait: model’s frontality, white background to avoid the eyes’ distraction, thick and discontinuous black lines to frame the character. Bacon is photographed on the margin with his hand of doubt, placed on his mouth.

Other famous names of the contemporary scene will also be presented as Cindy Sherman with Untitled #111, 1982, estimated at €18,000-25,0000 and Luigi Ghirri with an important work: Modena dating from 1973, composed of 33 unique prints, estimated at €50,000-70,000. In Modena, we find the key elements of Ghirri's research on territory and memory. This group of advertising posters is an iconic representation of the economic boom but also the visual witness of a collective memory – advertising coming in Italian’s homes through television - and personal memory, which we assimilate and integrate through our cultural background. The advertisements’ repetition, from Campari Soda to Molinari and Parah lingerie, is essential. On one hand, by the message they convey and, on the other hand, by the place they occupy in the urban space. The image closing this series can read "I live my time, I get informed"; an ironic sentence denouncing the mediatic bombing wich confirms, once again, the inseparable relationship between Ghirri's work and the changes of his time.

Fashion photographers will also be represented in the sale with Smoke + Veil, Paris, Vogue, 1958 by William Klein (€ 20,000-25,000), Kate Moss, Marrakech, 1973 by Albert Watson estimated at €14,000-16,000, Christy Turlington, Los Angeles, American Vogue, 1988 by Peter Lindbergh (€12,000-18,000) or Shoe, Monte Carlo, 1983 by Helmut Newton (€10,000-15,000).

Christie's will pay tribute to the talent of FC Gundlach's with an exhibition featuring some of his finest fashion photographs realised in Paris in the early 1960s, presented along with a selection of works from his personal collection including prints by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Guy Bourdin and Erwin Blumenfeld.

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