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Christie's announces the single owner sale 'Photographs: Selected by James Danziger
Enoc Perez, Untitled, 2014. Estimate: £8,000-10,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

LONDON.- Christie’s announced the single owner sale Photographs, Selected by James Danziger , which will be offered in London on 22 May, to coincide with the week of Photo London . The 103 works in this auction were collected over a thirty-year period by American gallerist and collector James Danziger, who was the youngest ever picture editor of The Sunday Times Magazine when he took the role in 1978. With estimates ranging from £1,000– £30,000, the variety of material in this sale provides a great opportunity for new and discerning collectors to either build or add to existing collections.

The selection made by Danziger charts a broad range of photography’s potential – here are images that illustrate advances in science, the fight for social and political freedom and, of course, the celebration of beauty. In James’s own words: ‘ These slender, chemically - fixed pieces of paper carry an unexpected depth ’. The works presented in this sale also reflect his sure eye for a good photograph. A common thread within the works, through a diversity of subject matter, is their compelling immediacy as images. They command attention and engage the viewer in their narrative. A high proportion focus on people. Either in moments of rest, love, celebration or conflict, the works explore, in various ways, aspects of the human condition.

Photography continues to engage as contemporary practitioners approach subjects with fresh eyes. For the first time at auction we are delighted to present the work of Enoc Perez, who overlays ‘found’ imagery from the internet with hand-cut colour collages, as seen in the work Untitled, 2014 (estimate: £8,000-10,000).

Many themes weave through the selection and there are certainly key areas of interest, though the images nimbly defy simple categorisation. A majority of works in the sale are by American photographers, many of which reference American culture. The auction features Studies of New York by Edward Steichen and Berenice Abbott and the very first images of man walking on the moon exemplified by Neil Armstrong’s Astronaut Aldrin, 1969 shot for Nasa (estimate: £3,000 – 5,000). Images that celebrate American achievement contrast with others that question the nation’s peculiarities, such as paparazzi shots of Jackie Kennedy Onassis which combine allure and cynicism, as illustrated by the present lot Windblown Jackie , October 7, 1971 by Ron Galella (estimate:£3,000 – 5,000).

The cult of celebrity fuelled by such paparazzi images was re-enforced by photographers such as Annie Leibovtiz, with whom James worked on Vanity Fair in the 1980s. Mohammed Ali, Chicago, 1979, by Annie Leibovitz (estimate: £6,000-8,000) is presented in the sale alongside Polaroids of Debbie Harry and Georgio Armani by Andy Warhol, whose work reveals his fascination with the media construct of fame ( Debbie Harry, 1980, estimate: £10,000 - 15,000). Images of the most photographed woman in the world, Kate Moss, will be offered in the auction, including the photograph of a very young Kate, from 1988 by Gene Lemuel (estimate: £4000 – 6,000). Images of glamour, beauty and seduction are not confined only to specialist professionals such as Steven Meisel and Franco Rubartelli as seen in Veruska in Yves Saint Laurent S afari , 1968 (estimate: £10,000 -15,00), these themes are key to striking pictures in the sale by Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Edward Weston.

The desire to document and capture social and cultural changes in society links photographers Robert Frank (lot 44), W. Eugene Smith, Malick Sidibe and Seidou Kieta. These highlights include from left to right: the gelatin silver print London, 1951 by Robert Frank (estimate: £30,000-40,000); Nuit de Noel, 1963 by Malick Sidibe (estimate:£4,000 - 6,000) and W.Eugene Smith’s Doctor Ernest Ciriani makes a house call on foot, Kremmling, Colorado, from Count ry Doctor’ essay), 20 September, 1948 (estimate: £5,000 – 7,000).

Danziger worked at the Photographers' Gallery in London from 1976 to 1978 when he was hired by Harold Evans to become the youngest Picture Editor of The Sunday Times Magazine. In 1983 he moved to New York to become Features Editor of Vanity Fair where he was instrumental in repositioning the magazine and in working with Annie Leibovitz, now the magazine's chief photographer. Six years later he founded the James Danziger Gallery in New York, rapidly attracting attention for a mix of thematic and monographic shows, representing such photographers as Henri Cartier Bresson, Mario Giacomelli, Annie Leibovitz, Joel Meyerowitz and Eliot Porter. Ten years later he founded - an internet company that pioneered the business of selling great photographs in the form of high quality digital prints. He later became Director of Magnum Photos' American operations, and now runs Danziger Projects, a gallery and media company in New York City.

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