Phillips to host 'Reframing Beauty: A Private Seattle Collection'

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Phillips to host 'Reframing Beauty: A Private Seattle Collection'
Nan Goldin, Red sky from my window, NYC, 2000. Estimate: $12,000 - 18,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips announced Reframing Beauty: A Private Seattle Collection, a single-owner auction taking place on 7 October at the company’s new headquarters at 432 Park Avenue in New York. Featuring 65 lots of exceptional provenance, the collection is comprised of contemporary photographs dating from 1964 through 2006, and features artists who transformed conventional definitions of beauty. The sale includes important works by Peter Hujar, Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Roni Horn, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others.

Vanessa Hallett, Phillips’ Deputy Chairwoman and Worldwide Head of Photographs said, “Today we see an unprecedented overlapping of the worlds of Photography and Contemporary Art, with the contributions of 20th century photographers being showcased alongside their contemporaries in other media. Reframing Beauty showcases this expanded understanding of photography. In addition to their art-historical importance, many images in this collection examine the environmental, social, and cultural issues of our time and will appeal to collectors of all backgrounds and interests.”

Peter Hujar’s David Wojnarowicz Reclining (II), 1981, is among the sale highlights and has never appeared before at auction. Hujar and Wojnarowicz were both central figures in the New York City art world in the 1980s. This intimate portrait embodies the beauty that lived alongside heartache as the gay community was ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, which ultimately took the lives of both the photographer and his subject. Also represented in the sale and known for their photographs of urban subcultures are Nan Goldin and Diane Arbus, including A Flower Girl at a Wedding, Conn., 1964 and 6 works from Arbus’s Untitled series from 1970-1971.

The collection boasts an impressive selection of 18 works by Robert Adams, including Southwest from the South Jetty, Oregon, 1990, a polyptych of five photographs documenting the ebb and flow of the South Jetty along the coast of Oregon. Adams’ contemplative seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes highlight the exquisite beauty of the natural world even as it is being transformed by the effects of urban expansion, climate change and deforestation. Longmont, Colorado (Summer Nights), 1979, captures this contrast in stark silhouette. The market for important photographs by Adams has strengthened in recent seasons and the sale of these works is particularly timely with the recently announced 2022 exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The collection additionally features work by photographers exploring non-standard photographic technique, including the camera-less explorations of Susan Derges, Adam Fuss, Robert Adams Christopher Bucklow and Garry Fabian Miller.

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