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Sotheby's to offer complete set of Nicholas Nixon's Brown Sisters photographs
Nicholas Nixon, Brown Sisters, 2000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- On 1 April 2015 Sotheby’s New York will offer a complete set of The Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon - one of the most remarkable continuing photographic series of the 20th and 21st centuries. Nixon shot the first portrait of his wife Bebe, then 25, Heather 23, Laurie 21, and Mimi 15 in 1975, and has subsequently recreated a version of the portrait every year since using an 8 x 10-inch view camera. The result is a highly detailed and captivating work of conceptual art documenting the four sisters’ evolution through the years. This body of work comes directly from the collection of Mrs. Mary Robinson who, along with her late husband David, is known not only as one of the West Coast’s most important art collectors but also benefactors, having donated a significant collection of 150 early photographs to the National Gallery of Art in 1995. The set of 40 photographs here are offered as a single lot and are estimated to fetch $200/300,000.

Complete sets of The Brown Sisters are extremely rare and have appeared at auction only twice before. There are approximately fifteen institutions including The National Gallery of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; George Eastman House; MAPFRE, Madrid; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and approximately ten private collectors who have complete sets of prints and continue to acquire the new one upon issue each year. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, recently staged an exhibition of its complete set in the museum lobby to popular and critical acclaim.

Other highlights include: Lee Friedlander’s iconic The Little Screens, presented in a selection of 38 photographs. Works by László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Frantisek Drtikol, and Pierre Dubreuil exemplify European Modernism. Classic fashion and portraiture are well represented by Richard Avedon’s Marilyn Monroe and The Chicago Seven, as well as by Irving Penn’s Rock Groups (San Francisco). Contemporary works by Francesca Woodman, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Sultan, Helena Almeida, Shirin Neshat, and Olafur Eliasson, among others, are also featured.

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February 28, 2015

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