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London Auction to Offer Photographs from the Realms of Cutting-edge Contemporary Art and Fashion

LONDON.- Major works from realms of contemporary art and fashion as well as important master photographs will be offered at the forthcoming Phillips de Pury & Company Photographs sale to be held at the company’s London galleries on May 16 at 3 pm.

Florian Maier-Aichen’s Untitled (Capsized Ship), 2002 is an early example by this critically-acclaimed and sought-after German photographer who has in the past five years made a lasting imprint on contemporary imagery. Florian Maier-Aichen’s grand scale landscapes expertly manipulate, through multiple negatives and computer manipulation, the camera’s view of both natural and man-made, industrial phenomena with stunning painterly and often unnerving effect. Furthering the course of the contemporary heroic landscape tradition ignited by German Bernd and Hilla Becher and more recently by Andreas Gursky, these powerful photographs render scenes of superlatives: more vibrant and more polished than either reality can present or the imagination could conjure. In this work, the artist’s preoccupation with making the familiar strange through color, light and composition is manifest. The vantage point of a capsized cargo ship renders the ship suspended in an expanse of vivid blue, its containers perfect punctuations of yellow and red, strewn across the sea with precise placement. Phillips de Pury & Company has recently offered photographs by Florian Maier-Aichen which have achieved excellent results, the most recent being sold well above it’s high estimate in the London Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Florian Maier-Aichen’s Untitled (Capsized Ship) is an image made early in the career and was exhibited at The Whitney Biennale in 2006. It will be offered with a pre-sale estimate between £25,000-35,000.

Nick Knight’s, Devon Aoki in Alexander McQueen for Visionaire is an exemplary image shot for the cover of influential style magazine Visionaire in 1997. Here, the celebrated British fashion photographer who has continued to push the boundaries of photographic process and aesthetics, deftly enhances the signature contradiction between the past and the future that is particular to another British icon, Alexander McQueen. Devon Aoki in Alexander McQueen for Visionaire is estimated between £10,000-15,000. An original edition of the magazine will be offered as a second lot.

French photographer Guy Bourdin’s idiosyncratic propensity for surrealist imagery blended into the genre of color fashion and beauty photography made him the darling of the era’s top fashion editors and art directors who relied on his talent for creating eye catching and arresting images that seemingly leapt from magazine pages. The singular vision of Guy Bourdin is underscored in this photograph of nude model Nicolle Meyer that was originally featured in his well-known 1980 wall calendar created for the Pentax camera company. Here Bourdin, long before digital technology allowed for seamlessly “altered” images, has staged the coiffed and heavily made-up model as she lies prostrate -- a stream of blood red enamel nail polish streaming from her head –a crime of fashion and passion. Guy Bourdin’s Pentax Calendar, 1980 is estimated between £7,000-9,000.

Other highlights from the realm of fashion include Erwin Olaf’s, The Boardroom, 2004 estimated between £12,000-18,000; German fashion photographer, Ralph Mecke’s luscious image of a rose is estimated between £4,000-6,000; David Drebin’s Flasher is estimated between £4,000-6,000 and Michel Comte’s playful portrait of Boy George is estimated between £2,500-3,500.

One of the most important and sought-after images of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, Irving Penn’s wife and muse, Woman in Moroccan palace, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, 1951 by Irving Penn will be offered with an estimate between £60,000-80,000.

A Young Man in Curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966 by the legendary Diane Arbus is one of the photographer’s most compelling portraits from her prolific and mature period in the 1960s. Phillips de Pury & Company is offering the print of this image from the rare portfolio composed by Diane Arbus just before her death in 1971, entitled A Box of Ten Photographs. A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. is a signed print and will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £35,000-45,000.

Phillips de Pury & Company will offer to the London market photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe from the esteemed collection of one of the artist’s muses and close collaborators, Lisa Lyon. These seven platinum print images, captured and printed over a period from 1981-82 are an evocative testimony of the artist’s fascination with human physiognomy and sexuality. Estimates begin between £2,000 – 4,000.

Sebastiao Salgado’s Church Gate Station, depicting the bustling Mumbai train station, the photograph that inspired the closing scene of award-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire, will be offered with an estimate between £8,000-12,000.

Phillips de Pury & Company will offer a selection of photographs by sought-after photographers who will be introduced to the auction market for the first time. This sale will provide an opportunity for buyers to acquire works by artists that previously were only available through private gallery sales, many which were pre-sold to collectors.

Jo Longhurst, the Royal College of Art graduate who investigates the relationship between humans and animals will be represented by Twelve Dogs, Twelve Bitches which is estimated between £8,000-12,000; Alex Prager’s Desiree, from the artist’s 2008 Big Valley series, a group of works that stages macabre and cinematic narratives, is estimated between $5,000-7,000; Finnish photographer Marko Vuokola’s, The Seventh Wave 1 is estimated between $4,000-6,000; Dan Holdsworth’s Megalith #2 is estimated between $4,000-5,000. Works by first to auction artists Clare Richardson, Rut Blees Luxemburg and Vees Speers will also be offered.

The Dutch duo, Exactitudes will be represented by their series of portraits executed in London in 2008 – eight photographs each composed of twelve portraits of people cast from real life. Exactitudes have been described as “urban anthropologists”, tracing types of people who are bound by one look and further one ideology. The London series will be offered with a pre-sale estimate between $7,000-9,000.

Highlights also include photographs by Middle Eastern artists, Lalla Essaydi, Jamshid Bayrami, Mania Akbari and Indian artists, Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta and Bharat Sikka.

Photographs by Thomas Ruff, Piotr Uklanski, Gregory Crewdson, Ruud van Empel, Edward Burtynsky and Robert Polidori will also be offered in this sale.

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