Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Christies Contemporary Photographs Auctions

New York – Christie’s is pleased to announce three important sales during its Photographs Week at Rockefeller Center this October. With viewings for all sales open to the public from October 9 -13, the three distinct sales will present collectors with the finest photographs from many of the 20th and 21st century’s most important and influential artists. The combined total for all three sales is expected to be $8.3-12.3 million.

Contemporary Photographs

On October 13, Christie’s will launch a first of its kind sale dedicated exclusively to works by international contemporary photographers. The auction will feature an unprecedented selection of works by some of the most important photographers living and working today, including Thomas Struth, Nan Goldin, Andres Serrano, Nobuyoshi Araki, Thomas Ruff, Chuck Close, Sally Mann, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Louise Lawler, Axel Hütte, Alec Soth, and Marylin Minter among others. Starting at $6000, the tightly edited auction of 93 lots is expected to total $1.6-2.4 million.

The sale combines stunning works from the highly coveted masters of contemporary photography to cutting-edge artists who are new to the auction market. Included in the sale are several works by conceptual photographer Vik Muniz, including the catalogue cover lot, Poplars, after Claude Monet, from Pictures of Pigment, 2005 (estimate: $30,000-50,000) an exquisite image inspired by the French Impressionist painter. Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Volcano Series #2), 1979 (estimate: $30,000-60,000) is a pivotal work from the Cuban artist’s earth/body sculpture performances throughout the 70’s. Olafur Eliasson is represented by Untitled (Hot Water), 1999, (estimate: $60,000-80,000), a work which is comprised of 9 chromogenic prints.

Among the highlights is an impressive print by Adam Fuss, Untitled (Snake Powder), 2005

(estimate: $50,000-70,000). A unique photogram, this stunning and abstract image captivates the viewer with its interplay of light and shadow. Another evocative work is a group of three

Seascapes by Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1987-1993 (estimate: $100,000-150,000). Additional highlights include Marilyn Minter Yellow Sparkle, 2007 (estimate: $12,000-18,000), Louise Lawler Champagne for Lunch, 2001 (estimate: $25,000-35,000), Thomas Ruff h.l.k 03, 2000 (estimate: $30,000-50,000), and Alec Soth’s iconic photograph Charles, Vasa, Minnesota, 2002 (estimate: $20,000-30,000).

Photographs by William Eggleston from the Collection of Bruce and Nancy Berman

After the white-glove 100% sold results for the Berman Collection of Diane Arbus photographs this spring, Christie’s will present the second in a series of three auctions of works from the Bruce and Nancy Berman Collection on October 13 – featuring a catalogue dedicated entirely to works by one of the pioneers of color photography, William Eggleston. This is the first time such a large group of works by William Eggleston have come to auction and the 60 lots in the sale are expected to bring $1.5-2.2 million.

The catalogue showcases a selection of Eggleston works that represent some of his most iconic photographic interpretations of the American vernacular. Saturated in color and strikingly lyrical, the works transform banal and ordinary images of American existence into stunning and meaningful visual testaments. Whether it’s a gas station, a parking lot, or other representations of the South, Eggleston’s images captivate the viewer and elevate his subjects from the mundane to the sublime. Among the highlights are some early 70’s works including a photograph depicting a woman on lawn furniture Untitled, Jackson, Mississippi, 1972 (estimate: $60,000-90,000) and, Sumner, Mississippi, 1972 (estimate: $50,000-70,000), and Untitled 1971 (estimate $50,000-70,000).


On October 14 Christie’s will offer a range of exceptional photographs, which demonstrate the breadth and scope of the medium’s trajectory from the 19th century through to the present. Included in the various owners catalogue are groupings from some of the finest private collections and individual master works, including seminal photographs by artists such as Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti, Irving Penn, and Edward Weston among others. The total estimate for the sale is $5.2-7.7 million.

An extraordinary hand-tinted daguerreotype by Southworth and Hawes, Flowers, c. 1852

(estimate: $100,000-150,000), provides for an exquisite early period highlight. Another early example is a set of forty mammoth albumen prints by Carleton Watkins, which will be offered as a single lot (estimate: $150,000-250,000). Entirely fresh to the market, the forty images represent some of Watkins’s best known depictions of Yosemite and the landscapes of Oregon, as well as numerous, extremely rare, architectural images.

Other notable highlights include an impressive selection of works by Irving Penn including a Black and White Vogue Cover, 1950 (estimate: $150,000-250,000), as well as a vintage 1927 Elbow print (estimate: $90,000-120,000), and a Nude of Tina Modotti, 1923 (estimate: $40,000-60,000) by Edward Weston. From the collection of Wolffe Nadoolman comes a sublime portrait of a Korean Child, 1958 by Dorothea Lange (estimate: $70,000-90,000).

Also from a private collection is a set of vintage prints by Walker Evans never before seen at auction (estimates range from: $9,000-70,000), and several works by Diane Arbus, including an unpublished Lady in Sunglasses, Central Park, N.Y., 1964 (estimate: $40,000-60,000).

Among the highlights is Bonjour Maestro by Robert Frank given to his friend and first publisher of The Americans, Robert Delpire (estimate: $70,000-90,000) and one of the most sought after images from that book, Covered Car -Long Beach, California, 1956 – (estimate: $40,000-60,000). The sale also includes a group of 9 annotated works taken by poet Allen Ginsberg of famous Beat Generation personalities, which the artist gave directly to his documentary filmmaker, Jerry Aronson (estimate: $30,000-50,000). The lot is accompanied by a signed copy of Aronson’s acclaimed film, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg. Also featured in the sale is an assortment of well known 20th century images by European and American masters including Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Ansel Adams from a New York private collection.

Auctions: October 13 & 14 2008

Viewing: 20 Rockefeller Center

Thursday October 9 10am-5pm

Friday October 10 10am-5pm

Saturday October 11 10am-5pm

Sunday October 12 1pm-5pm

Monday October 13 10am-noon

Christie’s International Photographs Department leads the world in the field of photograph auctions and offers clients unrivalled expertise. Capturing over half of the global auction market in 2007, the Department is led by Philippe Garner and Joshua Holdeman, who between them have 47 years experience. Supported by eight specialists working across two continents, the Christie’s is the only major international auction house to hold sales in Paris, as well as in the traditional centers of New York and London. Bringing auctions closer to a discerning, international clientele, the Department ensures its stays at the forefront of this highly competitive and developing art market. A broad range of photographs, from 19th century through contemporary material, make up Christie’s worldwide sales and exceptional prices and records have been achieved for artists such as Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus Richard Avedon, Bill Brandt, Edward S. Curtis, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Roger Fenton, Robert Frank, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, and William Henry Fox Talbot. Christie’s now holds three annual Photographs sales in New York and in London – at King Street and South Kensington – as well as in Paris.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium