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Sotheby's New York announces Single-Owner Evening Sale of Photographs on 1 April
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe (Nude Study). Est. $300/500,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Over two days on 1 and 2 April Sotheby’s New York will present two Photographs sales: The Inventive Eye: Photographs from a Private Collection, on the evening of 1 April, followed by the various-owners Photographs auction the following day. With works spanning the history of the medium, the sales offer outstanding highlights from the 19th century to the present day. Featured above are two photographs from the early part of the 20th century — a captivating portrait of Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen from 1924 (est. $300/500,000) and Alfred Stieglitz’s Georgia O'Keeffe (Nude Study) from 1918-19 (est. $300/500,000). These and other highlights will be exhibited in Los Angeles on 6 March and in San Francisco on 13 and 14 March.*

The Inventive Eye: Photographs from a Private Collection – 1 April
The single-owner sale draws together work by some of the most inventive photographers of the 20th century. Comprised of photographs from the imaginative images of Photo-Secessionists Coburn and Steichen; to the lensless, fluid photograms of Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy; to Edward Weston’s hyper-focus on dunes, shells, and vegetables, the collection demonstrates the power of the medium to challenge our quotidian ways of seeing.

Edward Steichen held the position of chief photographer at Condé Nast when he took the portrait of actress Gloria Swanson, who was the highest paid woman in the world at the time (est. $300/500,000). The photograph included in the sale is the print reproduced in the 1930 edition of the influential annual French journal Photographie.

The circa 1924 Rayograph (With Coil, Handkerchief and Chain) is an outstanding example of Man Ray’s work with the photogram technique (est. $300/500,000). Formerly in the collection of Jacob Bean, the Curator of Drawings at The Metropolitan Museum for over 30 years, this Rayograph has the same dimensions and subject matter as one in the collection of the Yale Art Gallery. One of many works by László Moholy-Nagy in the collection, Fotogramm (Photogram with Spiral Shape), also boasts an illustrious history. It was kept in the artist’s personal collection as he moved around Europe and then on to the United States, before entering major collections and being exhibited widely (est. $150/250,000).

Stairwell, Williamsburg, by Charles Sheeler is a radical standout from the artist’s more traditional studies of the town’s architecture (est. $200/300,000). Prints of the image can be found in the collections of only four museums, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Like most of Sheeler’s photographs, privately-held prints of this image are exceptionally rare.

Other important works in the sale include: Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Seville (est. $70/100,000), Street Line, New York (34th Street) by Robert Frank (est. $70/100,000), and Vortograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn (est. $250/350,000).

Photographs – 2 April
Alfred Stieglitz’s series of nude studies of Georgia O’Keeffe represent his only prolonged work with the female form. The example to be offered in April, with bold composition and clean lines, almost defines Modernism. Georgia O’Keeffe (Nude Study) is a prime example from early in the series and remained in O’Keefe’s personal collection for nearly 70 years (est. $300/500,000). In addition to the Nude Study, Stieglitz is represented in the sale by Georgia O’Keeffe (By Car), which depicts the artist with the new Ford V-8 convertible she purchased with proceeds from the sale of one of her paintings (est. $300/500,000).

'Head Of An Italian Girl' (Tina Modotti) by Edward Weston is an early study of the woman who would inspire much of his work in the 1920s and was taken soon after their love affair began (est. $250/350,000). The Painter Heinrich Hoerle by August Sander came about as a result of the photographer’s surprising friendship with a group of Dada and Constructivist artists from Cologne (est. $150/250,000).

Other highlights include Alexander Mikhailovich Rodchenko’s Radio Tower, a 1929 work by an artist at the forefront of European modernism (est. $50/70,000); Lewis W. Hine’s 'Immigrants, Ellis Island' (Italians Looking For Lost Luggage) (est. $50/80,000); and 'Two Girls In Wartime Clothes' (Dorian Leigh And Evelyn Tripp) from Irving Penn’s 1950 Vogue fashion survey This Half Century (est. $15/25,000).

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