Avedon and Arbus star in Phillips New York Photography sale



2016-09-27 13:25:13

Phillips is set to host its first Photography sale of the season in New York, with major works by Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Gilbert and George, and Robert Frank leading the way.

"After our successful spring sales earlier this year, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring works of such a high caliber to collectors in October," said Sarah Krueger, Phillips’ Head of Sale.

"Strong examples by leading photographers will be on offer, including an impressive selection of works that showcase the legacies of Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus."

Topping the sale is 'Day, 1978' by the controversial British art duo Gilbert and George. The sixteen-panel work features an image of the pair captured in deep red, contrasted with a black-and-white image of four homeless men on the streets of London's East End.

With works from their '1978' series highly sought-after by collectors, the monumental image – made using hand-coloured silver gelatine prints – is expected to fetch $600,000 - $800,000.

In complete contrast, the sale's cover lot is Richard Avedon's striking portrait of Brigitte Bardot, taken in Paris in 1959 for the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

Captured not long after the term "sex kitten" had been coined to describe her, Bardot was on the way to true international stardom when Avedon created one of his finest early masterworks, and the vintage print could bring between $220,000 - $280,000.

Amongst the auction's rarest lots is Americans in Kodachrome, a portfolio of 93 dye transfer prints assembled by professional printer Guy Stricherz. The images, all dating from 1945 to 1965, were submitted by amateur photographers across America, and were all originally taken using Kodak’s Kodachrome film, which revolutionized popular colour photography.

With just two complete sets known to exist, the portfolio offers a fascinating snapshot of life in America through the eyes of the family camera lens, and comes with an estimate of $100,000 - $150,000.

Many of America's most renowned photographers are well-represented in the sale. A selection of Diane Arbus works are led by her iconic 'Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962' estimated at $70,000 - $90,000; an early print of Robert Frank’s 'City Fathers, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955-1956', from his seminal book Les Américains, is valued at $300,000 - $500,000; and two works from Irving Penn’s Small Trades series - Porter, New York, 1951, and Patissiers, Paris, 1950 –are each estimated at $40,000 - $60,000.

The sale also features important works by the likes of Edward Weston, Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe, Dorothea Lange, Man Ray, Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz.

The Phillips Photography Sale takes place in New York on October 5 – 6.

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