woensdag 20 maart 2019

The Face of the Century the April 2019 Auctions Phillips & Christie's & Sotheby's Photography

Helmut Newton's Amazons
Highlighted in our 4 April Photographs auction, we reflect on how one of Newton’s most iconic works revolutionized fashion photography.
13 MARCH 2019

Detail from Helmut Newton's 1981 diptych, Sie Kommen, Paris (Dressed and Naked) 

Highlighted in our 4 April Photographs auction, we reflect on how one of Newton’s most iconic works revolutionized fashion photography.

Sie Kommen, Paris (Dressed and Naked), the title for Helmut Newton’s stunning diptych, translates from German to English as “they are coming.” It is an imposing diptych of four super-women on the march. Posed exactly in the same way in the left and right halves, they are triumphant and empowered both in their high fashion suits and in their nudity. Further, the present lot is a rare exhibition-sized printing, which imbues the models with a towering presence, and places all who stand before this monumental installation in the path of the models’ powerful, verging on dangerous, beauty.

Helmut Newton Sie Kommen, Paris (Dressed and Naked), 1981

First used as a two-page spread in French Vogue in 1981, Sie Kommen, Paris marked a turning point in Newton’s work. Newton started working for French Vogue in the 1960s and had become famous for introducing erotic subjects to fashion photography. In his earlier work, the location in which he photographed his models added to the sexual fantasy of his images, but with Sie Kommen, Paris, Newton left the lush interiors and streets of Paris and shot his subjects in a studio. In Sie Kommen (Dressed) we see the interior of the studio where the white backdrop touches the floor. In contrast, in Sie Kommen (Naked) the clothes disappear with the exception of high heels, and the studio becomes a boundless white space. As Karl Lagerfeld once noted, it is only with high heels that “. . . a woman [is] really naked for Newton.” With no supporting props the dressed and naked models become the whole story. Anne Tucker, who curated the first American retrospective of Newton, said “Big Nudes, for me, is where he steps away from the fashion magazines and came into his own on what a Helmet Newton woman was. . . Look at the way these women are boldly striding in these pictures. . . They are Amazons.”

Look at the way these women are boldly striding in these pictures. . . They are Amazons. — Anne Tucker

One can only imagine the effect such a subversively powerful image had on the public when it first appeared in French Vogue. Since then, Sie Kommen, Paris, has become an icon and has been illustrated extensively. It is the centerfold image in Newton’s provocative book Helmut Newton: Big Nudes, 1990. In his introductory essay for Big Nudes, Karl Lagerfeld states that for Newton “. . . there is no ‘weaker sex’. . . His women are part of a ‘strong’ sex.” Lagerfeld goes on to discuss the three periods of Newton’s life: the Berlin of his youth, “his spiritual home” from which Newton fled in 1938 after the horrors of Kristallnacht (during which his father was interned); “the unknown mysterious Australian period” where Newton enlisted in the Australian army; followed by Paris, where he arrived “in 1956 in a white Porsche with red leather upholstery." It is in the fashion world of Paris that Newton created this enduring image of sex, glamour, and female power, which boldly resonates from this exceptional presentation of Sie Kommen, Paris.

Paul Strand (1890–1976), The Family, Luzzara, Italy, 1953. Estimate: $200,000-300,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced three auctions of photographs on 2 April 2019, The Face of the Century: Photographs from a Private Collection a 90 lot sale coming just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, this collection celebrates key figures of the European avant-garde movement, Daydreaming: Photographs from the Goldstein Collection whose 69 lots are a testament to a lifelong commitment to the medium and the various owner Photographs auction which features superb examples of photography from the notable masters. The view will open to the public from Thursday, 28 March 2019 to Monday 1 April 2019 in Christie’s Rockefeller galleries. Highlights across the three sales include the iconic photograph by Richard Avedon, Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955 ($350,000-550,000), Irving Penn’s Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), NY, 1950 ($200,000-300,000) that once graced a famous, timeless editorial in Vogue, William Eggleston’s 10.D.70.V1 portfolio of ten dye transfer prints ($150,000-200,000) and the top lot across all three sales, Edward Weston’s Shells 6S, 1927 ($300,000-500,000).

Daydreaming: Photographs from the Goldstein Collection | 2 April 2019 | 10:00 AM
Over the years, the Goldsteins would meet the artists whose work adorned their house, from Richard Avedon to Zanele Muholi, Alex Prager, Andrew Moore, Yousuf Karsh, Julie Blackmon and Rachel Perry. With each encounter, the couple gained insight into the complexity and inspiration of each artist, picking works that they thought best represented the artists’ oeuvre that also synchronized with the rest of the collection. “We always went for works that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. None of the works in this collection were bought as an investment. We wanted them to be part of our lives,” they say. Highlights from the Goldstein Collection include Irving Penn’s Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), NY, 1950 ($200,000-300,000) and Edward Steichen’s Greta Garbo, Hollywood, 1928 ($30,000-50,000).

The Face of the Century: Photographs from a Private Collection | 2 April 2019 | 11:00 AM
The Face of the Century collection is overflowing with works from some of the keys figures of the European avant-garde movement during the 1920s and 1930s, notably László Moholy–Nagy, Man Ray, Herbert List, František Drtikol, and Helmar Lerski. Both Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, whose work has been associated together since they shared pages in BROOM magazine in 1923, are celebrated with separate sections in the catalogue. Highlights include Man Ray’s Kiki Silhouette, 1922 ($100,000-150,000) and László Moholy-Nagy’s Advertisement for Shocken Department Store (Variation of The Law of the Series), 1925 ($50,000-70,000).

Photographs | 2 April 2019 | 2:00 PM
Anchoring the various owner sale is a ‘Spotlight’ section featuring Robert Mapplethorpe. In a relatively short career that stretched just over two decades, Mapplethorpe fearlessly explored and exposed the unseen. It was not merely that no subject was taboo. Rather, all taboo was subject. Indeed, Mapplethorpe defied expectations and demanded that being young, openly gay and openly sexual was represented in art, and more importantly, acknowledged by the public. This section celebrates the figure in all forms from Mapplethorpe’s Self Portrait, 1982 ($60,000-80,000) to Lydia Cheng, 1987 ($30,000-50,000).

Another important portion of the sale is a selection of photographs from the collection of Susan and David Barron, New York. Susan Barron, an internationally recognized and collected artist, vividly remembers the first day she met Paul Strand, the artist whose work and spirit would come to influence her own practice. Over the years, Strand and Barron shared many conversations about photography and developed a profound, familial relationship. For Barron, the interest in Strand was not in the technical aspects of photography, but rather in the way in which he saw the world. It was through lifelong friendship that Barron eventually came to own some of Strand’s most iconic photographs, which Christie’s is honored to be offering on her and David’s behalf. Highlights include The Family, Luzzara, Italy, 1953 ($200,000-300,000) and Cobweb in Rain, Georgetown, Maine, 1927 ($20,000-30,000) by Paul Strand.

Margaret Bourke-White, 'Gargoyle, Chrysler Building, N. Y. C.' oversized, warm-toned, with title and annotation 'Mid-winter 1929-30' and 'Her Studio on 61st Floor Where Gargoyles Situated' in pencil on the reverse, framed, circa 1930, 19 by 13⅝ in. (48.3 by 34.6 cm.) Estimate $250/350,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s spring auction of Photographs on 5 April in New York includes a fresh and wide-ranging selection of images from all decades, from 19th-century daguerreotypes to contemporary works by Mishka Henner, David Yarrow, Carrie Mae Weems and Hank Willis Thomas. Nearly 200 lots with estimates ranging from $1,000 to $500,000 will be on view in Sotheby's New York galleries beginning on 29 March.

European Modernism & Avant-Garde Photographs 
Anchoring the sale is an extremely rare print of Pelikan Tinte by El Lissitzky (estimate $300/500,000). Among the Russian-born artist’s most famous works, Pelikan Tinte combines photogram and typography to stunning visual effect. The ghostly form of an ink bottle floats across the image with its stopper flying above. A fountain pen - its ink tank perhaps recently filled - is clearly delineated; its position is angled as if having just finished writing the word ‘Pelikan’ on its own. The bright, stenciled lettering of the word TINTE (ink) punctuates the blurred background, rendering the finished image seemingly in three-dimensions. This rare work is further distinguished by its provenance, coming to auction from the personal collection of Manfred Heiting. A renowned collector of the medium, the present photograph has remained in Heiting's personal collection since it was acquired nearly 30 years ago. At the time of this sale, it is believed that only two other examples of this image have appeared at auction in the last three decades. Photographs by August Sander, André Kertész, Werner Rohde, and Piet Zwart are also on offer.

Fashion Photography 
An all-embracing visual culture has pushed fashion photography into the spotlight over the last decade, with works by famous names such as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts becoming highly sought after. Arguably one of the most dominant photographers of the 20th century, Irving Penn is represented by a number of works, with subjects ranging from fashion to portraiture and still life. The group is led by a platinum print of Black and White Vogue Cover (estimate $150/250,000), which was first published on the cover of the April 1950 issue of American Vogue, as the lead illustration for its feature article, ‘The Black and White Idea’. With its simple yet potent use of clean lines, symmetry, and positive and negative space, Black and White Vogue Cover was not only Penn’s first monochromatic cover but also the first non-color Vogue cover in nearly twenty years. The sale is further distinguished by a group of photographs from one of today’s most influential photographers, Annie Leibovitz. A prolific photographer for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Vogue, her images of Keith Haring, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin are among the most recognizable portraits of the 20th century.

American Modernism 
American Modernism is featured throughout the sale, with a selection of works by Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, and Minor White on offer. Three impressive mural-sized prints by Adams, including both the horizontal Aspens, Northern New Mexico (estimate $150/250,000) and the vertical versions fully convey the photographer’s technical prowess both behind the camera and in the darkroom. Among the sale’s five works by Edward Weston, Shells (3S) is remarkable for its rarity and provenance (estimate $50/70,000). It was acquired directly from the photographer by Euliel Ballenger White, an early admirer of Weston’s work, who taught in Glendale, California, alongside Flora, the photographer’s first wife. An early print of Harry Callahan’s 1949 Chicago (Windows and Fire Escape) comes originally from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York and was exhibited there in 1962 (estimate $30/50,000).

Never-Before Seen Photographs of Frida Kahlo
The 5 April sale will present an unprecedented 78 photographs by iconic photographer Nickolas Muray, many of which have never before been published. The sale includes portraits of the socialites, politicians, composers, and writers closely associated with artists Miguel Covarrubias, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, and represents the most significant offering of work by the photographer to appear at auction. Muray was a prolific photographer for Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar, and it was during his trips to Mexico visiting Covarrubias that he met Frida Kahlo, with whom he had a decade-long affair beginning in 1931. With subjects ranging from Carl van Vechten, composer Carlos Chavez, illustrator John Held, Jr., social realist artist Marian Greenwood, muralist Roberto Montenegro to actress Margo Albert, the photographs offer fascinating insight into the cultural landscape of Mexico in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s.

Behind the Lens: Trailblazing Female Photographers 
Since photography’s inception, women have been at the forefront of the medium’s formation and development. From the 19th century to the present day, female artists embraced photography’s myriad possibilities – encompassing the realms of politics, fashion, war, modernist image-making and self-representation. A strong selection of works by Helen Levitt is available alongside covetable images by Julia Margaret Cameron, Francesca Woodman, Ana Mendieta, Sandy Skoglund, and Diane Arbus. Amongst the sale’s top lots are outstanding works by Imogen Cunningham and Margaret Bourke-White. Cunningham, a pioneer of Modernist photography, is represented by a luminous large print of Orchid Cactus (Cactus Blossom) (estimate $120/180,000). A prime example of the famous flower studies that garnered the artist international renown, no other print of this early image has been located. Ever the fearless photographer, Margaret Bourke-White captured her famous Gargoyle, Chrysler Building, NYC (estimate $250/350,000) by climbing out onto the structure, 800 feet above the street, to photograph the city. The work is further distinguished by its provenance, having last appeared on the market in the landmark 2006 Sotheby’s sale Important Photographs From The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Including Works From The Gilman Paper Company, which established the current world auction record for the photographer.

Contemporary Photographs 
The sale also includes numerous important contemporary photographs, including works by Thomas Struth, Nobuyoshi Araki, Gregory Crewdson, and Robert Heinecken, among others. Notable artists making their debut at auction include Mishka Henner, with Less Américains, a contemporary remake of Robert Frank’s seminal 1958 photobook The Americans (estimate $25/35,000) and Mark Hogancamp, whose harrowing life-story was recently documented in the 2018 feature-length film 'Welcome to Marwen' starring Steve Carell. Saving The Major is one of the many photographs that captures Hogancamp’s miniature World War II town he named Marwencol (estimate $10/15,000).

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