Iconic photographs and 20th century masters to be offered in Phillips' April Photographs Sale

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Iconic photographs and 20th century masters to be offered in Phillips' April Photographs Sale
William Eggleston, Morals of Vision, 1978. Estimate: $65,000-75,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips’ Photographs auction on 4 April will offer nearly 200 lots, featuring works by leading artists of the past century. The sale brings together a variety of collecting genres, and is led by a rare-to-the-market, exhibition-sized printing of Helmut Newton’s Sie Kommen, Paris (Dressed and Naked) and a dynamic, large-scale print by Peter Beard (illustrated above). The Photographs auction will precede the previously announced Passion & Humanity: The Susie Tompkins Buell Collection.

Sarah Krueger, Head of Photographs, New York, said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to offer such a remarkable selection of property in our April sale with exceptional prints that span a variety of genres of the 20th century, including Helmut Newton’s Sie Kommen, Paris (Dressed and Naked) and Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. This season, Phillips is also proud to have had the privilege of working with a truly extraordinary group of private collectors, including the Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw, a Private West Coast Collection, and, of course, Susie Tompkins Buell, whose collection will be on offer as an evening session.”

Helmut Newton’s Sie Kommen, Paris (Dressed and Naked), is a monumental, four paneled work of four women on the march, whose title translates to English as, “they are coming.” First published as a two-page spread in French Vogue in 1981, Sie Kommen, Paris is among the most iconic images created by the photographer. Posed exactly in the same way in the left and right halves, the models are triumphant and empowered both in their high fashion suits and in their nudity. Since its creation, Sie Kommen, Paris, has been illustrated extensively, most notably as the centerfold image in Newton’s provocative book Helmut Newton: Big Nudes, 1990. The lot on offer is an exceptional and rare exhibition-sized printing, which imbues the models with a towering presence, and places all who stand before the installation in the path of the models’ powerful beauty.

Further highlights of the sale include William Eggleston’s Morals of Vision which is rarely seen on the market, and has attained near-legendary status within Eggleston’s oeuvre. Produced as an edition of 15 and illustrated with 8 chromogenic prints, the deft sequencing of Morals of Vision is enhanced by its artist-book presentation. Additionally on offer is a masterfully-made print of Dorothea Lange’s iconic Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California which is believed to come originally from the collection of Irwin Welcher, the San Francisco-based photographic printer who worked with Lange in the 1950s and 1960s. Other classic works include one of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s highly sought-after grids of Water Towers, Robert Frank’s Political Rally, Chicago, and Garry Winogrand’s renowned portfolio of 85 prints, Women are Beautiful; Irving Penn’s beautifully crafted platinum print of Cottage Tulip: Sorbet, New York, 1967, estimated at $50,000-70,000; and Pierre Dubreuil’s Gardiens fidèles, circa 1932 which illustrates Dubreuil’s frequently overlooked sense of visual humor at $50,000-70,000.

Contemporary works abound throughout the sale including Peter Beard’s Tsavo East (early '60's) which fuses together the seminal elements that have defined Beard’s work over the last 60 years in an intricate collage. It is a masterful composition that exemplifies the most celebrated characteristics of Beard’s work including his fascination with the natural world, beauty, and cultural exploration. Additionally on offer are two large-scale Vik Muniz prints: A Bar at the Folies Bergère, after Edouard Manet, from Pictures of Magazines 2, 2012 and Burning Standard, after Ed Ruscha from Pictures of Cars, 2008, with ranges of $50,000-70,000 and $40,000-60,000, respectively. Additional lots by Sally Mann, Anne Collier, Ahmet Ertug, Adam Fuss, and Matthew Brandt are also included in the sale.

Highlights from Prominent Private Collections
Works from private collections figure prominently in the auction, including nearly 40 lots from a Private West Coast Collection which includes Carrie Mae Weems High Yella Girl from her Colored People series (illustrated left); Margaret Bourke-White’s The World's Largest Dam – Dnieperstroi, 1930 which graced the frontispiece of her 1931 book, Eyes on Russia, and carries the range of $20,000-30,000; a self-portrait of Constantin Brancusi in his studio also priced at $20,000-30,000; Richard Avedon’s portrait of Francis Bacon at $15,000-25,000, among other works by classic and contemporary photographers alike. Also featured is A Constant Pursuit: Photographs from the Collection of Ed Cohen & Victoria Shaw. The April auction marks the second offering of property from the collection at Phillips, following a well-received single-owner sale in October 2018. Among the collection’s highlights is a group of five works by Diane Arbus, including Clouds on Screen at a Drive-In Movie, N.J., 1960, and Young Couple in Washington Square Park, NYC, 1965, each estimated for $10,000-15,000.

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