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Sotheby's announces its bi-annual auction of Photographs in New York on 2nd October
Ansel Adams, The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 39 ˝ by 51 ˝ in. (100.3 by 130.8 cm). Est. $250/350,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- On 2nd October 2013 Sotheby’s will present its bi-annual auction of Photographs in New York. The sale will feature a range of imagery from the 19th to 21st centuries and is especially rich in masterworks from the first half of the 20th century, including several iconic American photographs by artists such as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Paul Outerbridge. The sale is led by the intimate Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait—Torso, circa 1919, by Alfred Stieglitz, one of only three prints known and the only one in private hands (est. $300/500,000). The pre-sale exhibition opens on 28th September.

Ansel Adams is represented by a strong group of five mural-sized photographs, most notably his majestic Tetons and Snake River (est. $250/350,000) and the stark Winter Sunrise (est. $150,000/250,000). A brilliant color carbro Advertising Study created by Paul Outerbridge for ScotTissue, circa 1938, showcases the unique talent of one of the progenitors of modern color photography (est. $50/80,000).

Among the rare European and Russian photographs in the sale are three superb experimental works by László Moholy-Nagy, with a print of a Photogram from the 1929 Giedion portfolio (est. $200/300,000) as well as a print of one of Moholy’s own Hand Photograms, also from the 1920s (est. $200/300,000). Further highlights from this part of the sale include an early print of Alexander Rodchenko’s 1928 young Soviet Pioneer (est. $70/100,000), exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in the important and critically acclaimed Rodchenko retrospective in 1998; and one of only two versions of Pierre Dubreuil’s oil print portrait of the dashing Officier Argentin, circa 1929 (est. $40/60,000).

The sale also contains a number of artists’ portfolios, foremost among them Richard Avedon’s seminal Avedon/Paris, from 1978, comprising 11 of the artist’s signature fashion images (est. $225/275,000); Ansel Adams’s 1976 Portfolio VII, featuring an oversized print of Aspens, Northern New Mexico and 11 other photographs (est. $80/120,000); the 1993 self-titled portfolio by Ruth Bernhard, with 10 platinumpalladium prints of her most famous nudes (est. $30/50,000);
Lee Friedlander and Jim Dine’s collaborative Photographs & Etchings from 1969 (est. $20/30,000); and a host of other portfolios and suites of images by William Eggleston, Danny Lyon, Brett Weston, Eliot Porter, Edward Steichen, and more.

A sequence of Cooling Towers by Bernd and Hiller Becher (est. $70/100,000) leads the Contemporary section of sale, along with works by Peter Beard, Nick Brandt, Francesca Woodman, Adam Fuss, and Elger Esser, among many others. The 19th and early 20th century is represented by several fine cased images, William J. Stillman’s 1870 volume, The Acropolis of Athens (est. $30/50,000), exhibition-sized prints of the American West by Arthur Wesley Dow, and a collection of over 150 rare Lantern Slides by Lewis Hine (est. $15/20,000).

On view during the pre-sale exhibition will be two exceedingly rare photographic items from Sotheby’s in Europe: a unique portfolio of August Sander photographs, Auswahl aus meinen Werken (est. €80/120,000 Euros), to be offered in the Sotheby’s Paris Photographs Auction on November 15th; and a recently discovered collection of 32 photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron, the Valentine Prinsep Album (est. Ł250/350,000), to be offered in Sotheby’s London Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on December 10th.

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