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Phillips de Pury & Company announces highlights from its London November Photographs Auction
Richard Misrach, Train Tracks, Colorado Desert, California, 1984. Est: £40,000 - 60,000.

LONDON.- Phillips de Pury & Company announced its 8 November Photographs sale. The London Photographs department, a leader in the European Market, will offer a diverse and exciting mix of vintage and Contemporary works by leading and notable artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries. The viewing will be open to the public from Friday, 2 November 2012.

“I feel that the sale absolutely caters to anyone who deeply loves and is fascinated by the medium of photography. The selection of images hold one’s attention no matter what your preferred genre or period may be. Photography has so much to offer and I think the sale definitely indicates this!”
Lou Proud, Head of Photographs, London

“This is one of London’s strongest sales with a perfect balance of iconic photographs such as Charlotte Rampling at the Hotel Nord Pinus II by Helmut Newton, and very important contemporary works by Stephen Shore, Richard Misrach and Thomas Demand.”--Sebastien Montabonel, European Senior Specialist, Photographs

The auction begins with familiar and glamorous images which have become staples of the fashion genre, Lot 1 Hat + 5 Roses, Paris (Vogue),1956 estimated at £4,000 – 6,000 by William Klein is a recognised signature work by the currently celebrated photographer, belonging to the era of his most elegant and timeless creations for Vogue.

Horst P. Horst features strongly in this section. The first image we see is the admired and familiar stockings and tutu skirt now almost synonymous with Horst’s name, in Lot 11 Round the Clock I, New York, 1987. Also the lesser known and rarely found dye transfer print depicting another make of stocking, entitled Advertisement for Jerbe stockings, Paris, 1985 following closely behind in Lot 12 portraying the slender and elegant legs of a mysterious woman surrounded by deep crimson roses. The sale also includes an excellent example of one of Horst’s Platinum prints seen in Lot 21 Lisa, “Hair”, 1939 in which the quintessential beauty; Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn drapes her flowing hair, the detail of which is reproduced so delicately by the ability of the platinum process.

The ebb and flow of these elegant images combined with gems such as Lot 22, Cindy Crawford, 1988 by Terence Donovan build beautifully to the star lot of the sale; Lot 29 Charlotte Rampling at the Hotel Nord Pinus II, Arles, 1973 estimated at £150,000 – 180,000. This sitting with Helmut Newton was the first time that the beautiful actress had ever been photographed naked. The fusion of these enigmatic talents created an electricity and sensuality that lingers in the image, sustaining and transfixing ones gaze. Newton’s trademarks are already set here but more subtly- as it is a relatively early image in his ‘Helmut Newton’ oeuvre – the decadent and historically rich environment as well as the layering and placing of expensive seductive objects which surround the most elegant and desirable female in that moment. This is one of only three large prints of this image which Newton began to make later in his career. The scale adds to the allure providing us physically with a fantasy of Amazonian proportions.

Herb Ritts has received notable recognition this year with the Herb Ritts: L.A. Style exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Glowing accolades and tributes have punctuated the press these last month’s firmly placing him in his rightful place as one of the most important classical photographers in contemporary times. Backflip, Paradise Cove, California, 1987 estimated at £35,000 – 45,000 seen in Lot 34 represents two of his main obsessions as a photographer; the placement and study of the body and the sensual individuality of Californian light. The image here is produced as an over-sized print adding to its impact and gravitas.

Moving away from the more fashion associated artists, the following works form a powerful and eclectic group of photography heavy weights. For the first time in the London sale we see two fantastic works by Paul Strand. Lot ­­­58 Man in a Derby New York, 1916 estimated at £10,000 – 15,000 depicts a chance glance caught succinctly by Strand whilst Lot 59 Young Farmer, Po Valley, 1953 estimated at £10,000 – 15,000 shows a stunningly moving image; a young man weathered by life and times, touchingly honoured and respected by Strand’s gaze – the texture of the skin not dissimilar from the wall behind – both images expose the sitters inner-self. Also in this section are portraits by Irving Penn, August Sander and Alfred Stieglitz.

Leading on from the success of our May 2012 Photographs Auction, here presented are further exquisite works by Josef Sudek including an extremely rare panoramic of Prague 1959 crafted with pigment and gold seen in Lot 69 estimated at £12,000 – 18,000. These works are followed by a work by Constantin Brancusi - View of the Studio, The Sorceress and the Chief, c.1925, a private view in to his way of working estimated at £18,000 – 22,000. An exhibition of Brancusi photographs were the toast of Frieze Masters in Regents Park, London over mid-October.

Contemporary photography has always been strongly represented in the London sale. The cover lot, Constellation (Paris Edition), 2000 estimated at £40,000 – 60,000 offers the chance for us to acquire a fictional projection of what the sky over Paris could be in the year 2300, exactly 300 years after the artist showed his work at the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Always challenging our perceptions, true to form, Demand, cleverly twists our presumptions and presents a photographic work which looks towards a proposed realistic situation instead of what we expect, which is to travel back in time to a ‘real’ event via the image.

For the first time at Phillips de Pury & Company a phenomenal triptych from the French photographer Stéphane Couturier’s seminal series will be sold, Monuments, seen in Lot 94, Seoul #2, 1999, estimated at £20,000 – 30,000. Honoured by such notable curators as Quentin Bajac, Couturier’s work which seduces the eye initially with a complex colour palette and a mass of fine detail addresses indigenous cultural habitats and how we identify, receive and accept them.

Richard Misrach has become known as one of the fathers of large format colour photography. Lot 85 Train tracks, Colorado Desert, California, 1984 estimated at £40,000 – 60,000 is a classic example of how Misrach invites us in to the American landscape and the American way. This image which possesses a particular light, also entices with the possibility of catching a train to somewhere else, away from our current situation. The feeling of curiosity entices the viewer to examine the image time and time again.

There are three fantastic works by Florian Maier-Aichen seen in Lot 86 Untitled (towards Burbank), 2004; Untitled (towards Los Angeles), 2004 estimated at £8,000 – 12,000 and Lot 87 Untitled (Cloud), 2001 estimated at £20,000 – 30,000. These photographs show a different kind of landscape and cultural mapping. Maier-Aichen’s photographs portray an image built on using subtle manipulation. Typically taken from strange vantage points, Maier-Aichen’s images present a heightened, manicured and often too perfect socially inhabited place. The viewer is disorientated and left wondering if this sublime image before them actually exists or it is only a fictional projection of a proposed reality.

The works of Robert Frank, Ernst Haas, William Eggleston and Stephen Shore share a common sensibility for the American experience. Frank’s works in Lots 108 and 109 are both taken in 1955, a richly important year for him as he secured a grant (largely due to the influence of Walker Evans), which meant he was able to travel across the United States and photograph every part of its strata. This now legendary body of work resulted in one of the most famous publications in photographic history; The Americans.

The sale also contains works by Norman Parkinson, Albert Watson, Mario Testino, Eugène Atget, Roger Fenton, Cecil Beaton, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Weber, Candida Höfer, Wolfgang Tillmans, Michael Reisch, Vik Muniz, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Desiree Dolron, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Sally Mann, Robert Polidori, Massimo Vitali, among others.

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