MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Untitled Rayograph, 1922
unique gelatin silver photogram signed in pencil (on the mount)
annotation ‘Original Man Ray 23’ in ink (on the reverse of the mount)
image/sheet: 9 ¼ by 7 in. (23.5 by 17.8 cm.)
mount: 14 by 10 5/8 in. (35.5 by 27 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTED eye, Modernist Masterworks From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #17
pre-sale est.: $250,000-$350,000
Price realized: $1,203,750
**WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ARTIST

Modernist Masterworks at Christie's Spikes Sales: The 2013 Spring Photography Auctions in New York

By Brian Appel


Encouraging signs in the money markets coupled with low inflation rates and an improving real estate picture--the highest level in six years--put industry professionals and collectors in a buying and selling mood this season. Overall New York sales surged to a healthy $30,855,193 thanks largely to a once-in-a-lifetime collection of vintage modernist masterworks that were snapped up by the Christie’s team from a South American consignor who wished to remain anonymous. Deep-pocketed collectors and dealers opened their wallets to pay whatever they had to pay to acquire rare works of the highest-quality from branded, blue-chip artists whose images still resonate with art history.
 

As one might suspect, some of the rarely seen offerings from artists like Man Ray, Paul Strand, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, Diane Arbus, Irving Penn and Robert Frank made auction history (see “Top 25” below). A whopping eighteen prime properties reached the magic number of $300,000 and beyond. Christie’s, Phillips and Sotheby’s generated an eye-opening $43,200 per lot average from the 715 lots that found buyers this season.

That said, the big three houses in New York have not caught up to their peak set six years ago in the spring of 2007. Consumer confidence was at an all time high and consignors were only too willing to test their wares in a market flush with cash. Total sales then hit $37,503,000. In contrast, the bottom of the photography auction market--six months after the September 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman brothers--realized just under $14 million with 799 properties sold with a per lot average of a paltry $17,512. Only two photographs reached $300,000.

The record for a single-owner collection of photographs sold at auction still resides with Sotheby’s. That 'super-class' sale held on the 14th and 15th of February, 2006--"Important Photographs From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Including Works from the Gilman Paper Company”--reached $14,982,000 with an astounding per lot average of $142,592. Sixteen lots from this one sale broke the $300,000 mark including six properties realizing seven figures.

This all sounds pretty bullish until one compares the photography figures to the much larger post-war and contemporary art market where a house like Christie’s can generate a $400 million to $500 million evening sale with a mere 75 lots. These sales--events really--draw huge crowds of the world’s uber-rich looking for museum-quality trophies including a handful of contemporary photographs from a Sherman, Gursky or Prince that have jumped from what Joshua Holdeman has called “the ghetto of photography” into the broader category of twentieth-century art as a whole.

Christie's
Museum-quality vintage prints from 1900-1925--a time when many experts say that Modernism took hold in the United Sates--was the first order of business at Christie's this spring. Inventories for prime examples from this period are both low and rare and the single owner sale dubbed "the deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks From a Private Collection" brought spirited bidding that resulted in five of the top ten lots of the entire spring season.

Enthusiasts who took the effort to experience the photographs up close and in person were seduced by the "aura" of these unique works of art, many of which telegraphed their authenticity with the associated physical changes that unique objects have suffered throughout history. The chronology of ownership, the work's exhibition history, the mythology surrounding the artists and the sheer beauty of many of the works all aided in giving collectors the best possible first impressions.

Emanual Radnitsky's (a.k.a. Man Ray) photogram "Untitled (Rayograph)" from 1922--a unique photogram re-branded by Man Ray as a Rayograph--brought the highest price from the single-owner block-buster sale and the top dollar of the entire spring season. The 9 1/4 by 7 inch gelatin silver photogram acquired by the seller from the leading authority on Surrealism, Timothy Baum, was the only lot to reach seven figures at the photography auctions this season.

Man Ray's composition is both graphically forceful and remarkably nuanced. The unique gem--incorporating floating abstract geometric forms without any reference to scale or direction--brought $1,203,750. The flexibility of his process, gave Ray, the draughtsman, the opportunity to echo in the photographic work what he was accomplishing in his paintings and work on paper.

Despite Man Ray's claims and marketing strategy surrounding his 'inventing' the photogram, Christian Schad is credited with 'discovering' the process before Ray. In fact, by 1919--three years before Ray's photogram was executed--Schad was creating "photogenic drawing" from random arrangements of discarded objects he had collected. These prints were published in 1920 in the magazine "Dadaphone" by Tristan Tzara who called these images "Schadographs." Schad's descriptions of his techniques were eventually used not only by Man Ray (who knew Tzara) but also Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in their more extensive explorations.

All three artists, however, were trumped by William Henry Fox Talbot who was making "cameraless" images in the nineteenth century.

Although crude and somewhat incomplete, Talbot devised a process called "photogenic drawing" which involved placing a translucent or opaque object, or a selection of objects directly onto a sheet of photosensitive photographic paper and exposing it by a stationary or moving light source(s). Where the objects prevent light from reaching the surface, the paper remains unexposed, and consequently, light in tone. The uncovered portion of the paper which received full exposure to light, turns dark.

Unlike the camera generated image 'taken' by the photographer, the photogram is 'made' by the artist's hands in a process that creates a unique artwork like a painting or a sculpture. No doubt Ray's frequent migration to this larger world of contemporary art had a huge effect on the monetary outcome of the image.

PAUL STRAND (1890-1976)
Akeley Motion Picture Camera, New York, 1922
2 gelatin silver prints, flush-mounted back-to-back
various notations (on the recto/reverse of the flush-mount)
image: each 9 5/8 by 7 5/8 in. (24.4 by 20.3 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTED eye, Modernist Masterworks From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 July 2013
lot #54
pre-sale est.: $250,000-$350,000
Price realized: $783,750


Near the home stretch of the sale--just before an abstraction by Jaromir Funke (that didn't sell) and the block-buster Laszlo Moholy-Nagy gelatin silver print of an original photogram from 1923-1925 which did (for just over $500,000)--Paul Strand's important "Akeley Motion Picture Camera, New York" from 1922 pulled down $783,750 to grab the second highest lot in the Christie's sale (and the entire season).

Taken five or six years after the photographer had given up his earlier soft-focus, painterly-styled portraits and landscapes (in the Photo-Secessionists pictorialist style), his hard edged, virile depiction of a motion picture camera turned upside down and at a 45-degree angle was no doubt a tipping of the hat toward Cubism and Picasso's revolutionary abstractions.

Strand, taking his cues from the master modernists in painting and sculpture, immersed himself with experimenting with abstraction in his own compositions. Gradually, Strand's camera abandoned completely a recognizable picture plane and comprehensive subject matter of which "Akeley Motion Picture Camera, New York" can be seen as its gem. Arguably, this lot--which is made up of two gelatin silver prints flush-mounted back-to-back--can be seen as one of the artist's first significant images that intentionally abstracted reality by eliminating social and spatial context.

Ironically, the subject that he was photographing was in fact his own; a sparkling new motion picture camera that shows the film-movement mechanism inside its clamshell case. It was the instrument the artist used to make his living until it became obsolete some 10 years on.

This focus on a flattened pictorial space and a sublime fashioning of shape and tonal rendition played an important role in launching the modernist revolution in the 1920s that worshipped simple, functional design--an implicit rejection of the Victorian-esque approach to subject matter and technique along with a master narrative that made modernity appear synonymous with progress and the march of reason. Strand's coolly seductive, brutally direct machine photographs of which Stieglitz described as devoid of all "flim-flam," celebrated the interest in the industrial, mass production system which helped transform consumers' lifestyles into the new cultures of leisure and consumption.

ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Trolley—New Orleans, 1955
gelatin silver print, printed in 1961, flush-mounted on Masonite
image/flush-mount: 11 5/8 by 16 5/8 in. (29 by 42.4 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #251
pre-sale est.: $400,000-$600,000
Price realized: $663,750
**WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ARTIST


If the camera was invented to look, tell and study things, "Trolley--New Orleans,"--arguably the crowning glory of Robert Frank's 83-image optic masterpiece "The Americans"--took the top spot in the house's various owners "Photographs" sale ringing in a new auction record for the legendary lensman at a whopping $663,750.

Printed by the artist himself for a 2-person show with Harry Callahan at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1961, the 11 3/8 by 10 5/8 in. gelatin silver print--flush-mounted on masonite and hung without glass to insure no reflections--captured six passengers on a trolley in New Orleans seated according to their color, sex and age. The jewel-like multi-portrait froze forever a story of xenophobia and racism that was running rampant in the South in the mid-fifties.

Taken just weeks before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white male at the front of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama--kick-starting the civil rights movement in America--Frank's image reveals the sad tale of America's policy of compelling racial groups to live apart from each other.

Reading the image from left to right as if in a book, we see a hierarchical descent ranked by birthright--white male, white female, white boy, white girl, black male, black female--all isolated from one another showing the utter absurdity of life in the American South. The scowl on the woman's face and the look of sheer exhaustion, resignation and despair on the black man's face illustrates the range of emotion Frank captured without the slightest touch of sentimentality that a lesser photographer would surely have realized. Frank's "Trolley" is a monumental image that speaks volumes about the photographer's search for truth and the mournful tenderness he was able to capture while preserving the past.

Irving Penn, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, William Eggleston, Peter Beard and Erwin Blumenfeld rounded out the top 10 bringing the total of the two sales to a robust $14.9 million.

Phillips de Pury & Co.

DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971)
Identical Twins Cathleen (l) and Colleen, Roselle, N.J., 1967
gelatin silver print
15 by 14 ¾ in. (38.1 by 37.5 cm.)
signed and dated ‘1966 [sic] in stylus on the recto
signed, titled and dated ‘1966’ [sic] in ink on the verso
accompanied by a signed postcard from Diane Arbus to Penny Ray
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday 2 & 3 April 2013
lot #28
pre-sale est.: $180,000-$220,000
Price realized: $602,500
**WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ARTIST


Diane Arbus's most famous photograph, "Identical Twins Cathleen and Colleen Roselle, N.J." from 1967 was Phillips's top lot in the house's "The Curious Collector--Important Photographs of Dr. Anthony Terrana" sale. The print--which set a new global auction record for the photographer at $602,500--came with a signed postcard from the artist herself.

Diane Arbus's prints, made by the photographer herself, garner tremendous attention because they are so rare. Worth approximately ten times the price of a print executed after her tragic suicide in 1971 (by Neil Selkirk), a Diane Arbus print is nothing short of being a cultural treasure. Along with August Sander, Richard Avedon and Andy Warhol, Arbus is one of the most important portraitists of the 20th century... possibly its greatest.

The photographer's brilliance lies in her ability to commit to film an outsider's unique facial expression, body language, personality and even mood from within the intimate ambience that she has struck up with the sitter(s). She is known for doggedly pursuing subject matter for months and even years to capture the perfect pregnant moment that she has been looking for.

As always, Arbus's most important photographs are what Jean Baudrillard would call 'hyperrealities' that play with what is 'real' and what is 'fiction' and with the mind's predilection towards the aesthetic. At the same time, with reservations from many viewers, her work counts on its morbid curiosity and fascination with the loner, the freak, the marginal.

Vintage prints by Arbus and other photographers in the early and mid 1960s were rarely editioned and have been referred to as "originals" by photography specialists and connoisseurs because the print is understood as being executed by the artist within a few days or weeks after the exposure has been made. Often, these prints are put aside by the photographer for study, given away as a gift, or sold or traded to another enthusiast.

Auction house experts and museum curators have been known to refer to these veritable printing circumstances by using the moniker "demonstrably vintage print." In this situation, there is no doubt about the time of the execution of the print because a stamp from a particular museum exhibit or other markers such as a dated inscription by the photographer's hand on the front or the rear of the print pinpoints the exact time the image was printed.

Art professionals also use the terms "aura" and "authenticity" when referring to "vintage" prints as these images are directly associated with the hands of the artist in close proximity to the execution of the print. The print might also have a slight patina (a slight "silvering" of the print) or unique handling in the printing process by the photographer at the time of its execution. Silver content in the paper might also be a clue to the age of the print. Beyond connoisseurship there is the 'art forensics' of the print; a scientific way of gauging the print's date of execution through a number of tests that provide reassurance and a comfort blanket to investors.

Besides the time of execution and handling of the print, there are other factors that can add or subtract thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars onto or off the value of a print. The quality and condition of the print, its size, rarity, provenance, and what position the image plays in terms of the oeuvre of the photographer all impact value. There is also the chance that a photographer's work jumps from the photographic world (which some see as a 'ghetto' of sorts) into the larger world of contemporary art. These photographers are referred to as "artists who use the camera" because it best suits their needs as opposed to simply "photographers." Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, John Baldessari, Sherrie Levine, Sarah Charlesworth, Louise Lawler, Laurie Simmons, Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha, William Eggleston, Roe Ethridge, Gregory Crewdson, Andreas Gursy, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth are among the few that have made the jump from the photographic world and are shown in the secondary and primary market i n contemporary art galleries and post-war and contemporary art auctions along with galleries that show photographs exclusively.

ALFRED STIEGLITZ (1864-1945)
Georgia O’Keeffe, 1919
platinum palladium print
9 ½ by 7 5/8 in. (24.1 by 19.4 cm.)
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday 2 & 3 April 2013
lot #12
pre-sale est.: $300,000-$500,000
Price realized: $302,500



"Georgia O'Keeffe," an Alfred Stieglitz platinum palladium print of his lover and later wife garnered just over $300,000 in the sale. Printed in close proximity to its 1919 exposure, the work is not just impressive, it is transformative, transcending the two individuals concerned to make one loving portrait.

The phallic-looking African spoon O'Keeffe holds up to the light streaming from the window of the apartment the couple share can be seen as a veiled reference to her paint brush. Critics have been known to talk of her flower paintings--with the flesh-like folds of her flowers--as arrestingly female--the essence of womanhood.

The provocative nature of the image, the dream-like delicacy and rarity of the platinum-palladium print, and the closeness of the work to the artist's oeuvre propelled it to the number two slot in the Phillips sale. Stieglitz/O'Keeffe images come out of a deep, passionate collaboration. In a letter to his lover and muse--one of over 5,000 they exchanged over the course of their 30-year romance--Stieglitz tells her what she means to him:

"What do I want from you? -- Sometimes I feel I'm going stark mad -- That I ought to say -- Dearest -- You are so much to me -- Coming may bring you darkness instead of light -- And it's in everlasting light that you should live."

The cult of the Stieglitz/O'Keeffe portrait is not a secondary phenomenon, but a mythical transfiguration. To some critics it is possibly the last great myth of modernity.

IRVING PENN (1917-2009)
Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1950
platinum palladium print, printed 1979
19 7/8 by 19 7/8 in. (50.5 by 50.5 cm.)
signed, titled, numbered ‘1/30’ in pencil and Conde Nast copyright credit
reproduction limitation stamp on the reverse of the aluminum flush-mount
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday, 2 & 3 April, 2013
lot #19
pre-sale est.: $300,000-$500,000
Price realized: $290,500


Irving Penn's widely celebrated "Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn)," from 1950 (printed in 1979), came in third, selling for a less than expected $290,500. The lot realized almost $60,000 less than another print from this edition sold in April of 2006 at Christie's, New York. The photograph, possibly suffering from over-exposure in the market, came with an aggressive pre-sale estimate of $300,000-$500,000 estimate.

No other fashion photographer save for Richard Avedon (1923-2004) is as influential in the post-war period as Irving Penn (1917-2009). He was one of the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white background shifting the focus of the viewer from the clothes and make-up of the model to the person and their expression.

"Harlequin Dress" is the perfect image created for an "on assignment job" in a commercial setting--in this case the lead image in a fashion editorial "The Black and White Idea" published in the April 1950 issue of "Vogue."

An iconic image, this platinum palladium photograph went through various types of promotional re-publication, then to scholarly monographs and finally to the realm of fine art.

This evolution from popular culture to high art is a journey that only a handful of "commercial" photographers have been able to make. Part of the transformative nature of this image is the tightrope walk of the model's expression which is somewhere between being commanding and imperial and smug and arrogant. Certainly the model is self possessed and in control, anticipating, by more than a decade, the new feminist persona.

The Phillips various owners "Photographs" sale did $1,735,000 less than the grand total of the "Curious Collector" sale clocking in at a modest $28,029 per lot average. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Irving Penn, Edward Steichen, Hans Bellmer, Constantin Brancusi and Barry Frydlender reached the six figure mark and the top five in the sale. The house's single owner sale was the more robust with a $36,020 per lot average.

Both auctions here couldn't touch the brilliant $141,743 per lot average at "the deLIGHTed eye" single owner sale at Christie's. It's per lot average was just shy of the record set at Phillips de Pury & Company's "27 Exceptional Photographs" sale in the spring of 2007 which realized an incredible $190,385 per lot average.

Sotheby's
As with the other two houses, Sotheby's put together two sales: a various owner's sale which raised $5,061,191 with a modest $27,809 per lot average, and a single owner sale called "The Modern Image" which brought $2,544,377 with a $51,926 per lot average.

EDWARD WESTON (1886-1958)
Two Shells, 1927
matte-surface gelatin silver print mounted to large buff-colored card
signed and dated in pencil on the mount
9 3/8 by 6 7/8 in. (23.8 by 17.2 cm.)
SOTHEBY’S, N.Y.: The Modern Image: Photographs From an Important American Collection, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #18
pre-sale est.: $600,000-$900,000
Price realized: $533,000


Sotheby's top lot in the house's "The Modern Image" single owner sale is one of the most important images of Edward Weston's oeuvre--the classically elegant still life "Two Shells"--landing in at $533,000. The modernist masterwork came with a very aggressive $600,000-$900,000 pre-sale estimate reflecting the scarcity of early matte prints of this image executed prior to the numbered edition made later with glossy paper.

Seemingly glowing from within, the print's luminous surface, has the classical attitude committed to a kind of perfection that transcends time. Such a monumental work (at less than 10 inches in height) possesses the factors needed to remain important far beyond the period of its creation. Its enduring originality, coupled with the sterling provenance of the work propelled the lot beyond the half million mark making it the showcase of the house's seven o'clock evening sale.

ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Hoboken, 1955
gelatin silver print
printed no later than 1966
8 by 12 1/8 in. (20.3 by 30.8 cm.)
SOTHEBY’S, N.Y.: Photographs From an Important American Collection,
Friday 5 April, 2013
lot #12
pre-sale est.: $150,000-$250,000
Price realized: $365,000


Robert Frank--the undisputed king of a handful of brilliant photographers working in the 1940s and 1950s--brought the second highest price for a lot in the sale. Entitled "Hoboken" (a.k.a. "Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey)," the image is the lead photograph in the artist's 83-image opus "The Americans." The image, showing the bottom of the American flag stretched across a brick wall blocking two adjacent windows, obscuring the people inside was, and still is, appealing to countless numbers of photographers across all genres--especially to documentary and street photographers--because of its unique and ground breaking take on the gritty and bleak side of America during the mid-1950s in America.

Because "Hoboken" was taken at the height of the cold war/ 'red scare,' the picture, with its headless torsos covered by the flag, arguably symbolize the feelings and beliefs of a people who are 'blinded' by the thought that their country is always on the "right side of history." It could also symbolize the isolation and loneliness people feel even in the crowded city.

"Hoboken" surfaces once every couple of seasons in the auction market, but prints made this early--the catalog reads "no later than 1966"--are very rare. The last time a print made in the mid-sixties came to auction was at Sotheby's, New York, in the fall of 2004, where a 1966 print went for $198,400.

It was a banner day of affirmation for Robert Frank's "The Americans" and the room, the internet and the phones just couldn't get enough. Another print of the artist's "Trolley-New Orleans"--the multi-portrait photograph showing a row of passengers segregated by color, age and sex in a trolley car on Bourbon Street--took the number one spot in "Session Two" of the various owners "Photographs" sale the following afternoon. The print, this time "likely printed before 1972," brought $293,000.

The sale of the second "Trolley" photograph this season (and a third in the Sotheby's "Photograph" sale) speaks loudly of the undeniable depth of the market for prime images from "The Americans," especially the photograph that is arguably the image most associated with the epicenter of the artist's oeuvre.

ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Barber Shop Through Screen Door, McClellanville, South Carolina, 1955 / possibly printed in the 1960s
gelatin silver print
8 1/2 by 12 7/8 in. (21.6 by 32.8 cm.)
signed, titled and dated in ink in the margin, the number '35' in pencil, the photographer's copyright stamp with credit and date in ink, and his 'Robert Frank Archive' stamp with numbers '38' and '732' in pencil on the reverse.
SOTHEBY'S, N.Y.: "Photographs," 6 April, 2013, lot #129
pre-sale est.: $70,000-$100,000
Price realized: $185,000


Two other images from the sale, "McClellanville, S.C. (a.k.a. Barber Shop through Screen Door)" and "Tesuque, New Mexico," also from Frank's "The Americans" landed in the top ten of the sale. The sublime barbershop image "McClellanville" realized $185,000 and "Tesuque, N. M. (Santa Fe)," the gasoline pump image with the "Save" sign up above took home $137,000. In total, there were six images from "The Americans" in the sale of which four received bids above the high pre-sale estimates and all found buyers.

It would be wrong to imply that this scramble for "star" Frank images is motivated purely by exuberant connoisseurship--greed plays a role, too. For many collectors (and dealers), it makes more sense to pay for established hit makers than to cultivate lesser-known artists in the hopes that one of them would eventually "blow up".

This willingness to invest in "premium" content--especially in the profoundly conservative model of the art photography modernist canon--will no doubt continue as we move forward. Prices for these "super-images" will continue to rise especially in light of the vagaries of the stock and real estate markets. High prices in the art photography market--even those in the hundreds of thousands of dollars--are still seen as relatively modest when compared to artworks realized in the larger contemporary arena where second tier works from prime artists can easily bring $1,000,000.


BUYER'S PREMIUM AT CHRISTIE'S: In addition to the hammer price, the buyer at Christie's agrees to pay to the house the buyer's premium together with any applicable value tax, sales or compensating use tax or equivalent tax in the place of sale. The buyer's premium is 25% of the final bid price of each lot up to and including $75,000, 20% of the excess of the hammer price above $75,000 and up to and including $1,500,000 and 12% of the excess of the hammer price above $1,500,000.

BUYER'S PREMIUM AT PHILLIPS: Phillips charges the successful bidder a commission, or buyer's premium, on the hammer price of each lot sold. The buyer's premium is payable by the buyer as part of the total purchase price at the following rates: 25% at the hammer price up to and including $50,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $50,000 up to and including $1,000,000 and 12% of the portion of the hammer price above $1,000,000.

BUYER'S PREMIUM AT SOTHEBY'S: A buyer's premium at Sotheby's will be added to the hammer price and is payable by the purchaser as part of the total purchase price. The buyer's premium is 25% of the hammer price up to and including $100,000, 20% of any amount in excess of $100,000 up to and including $2,000,000, and 12% of any amount in excess of $2,000,000.

NOTE 1: All figures in the above article (and below in the re-cap and TOP 25) include the buyer's premium.

NOTE 2: Estimates as published in the catalog are pre-sale estimates and do not include the buyer's premium.


TOP 25 PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE SPRING 2013 AUCTIONS IN NEW YORK


1) MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Untitled Rayograph, 1922
unique gelatin silver photogram signed in pencil (on the mount)
annotation ‘Original Man Ray 23’ in ink (on the reverse of the mount)
image/sheet: 9 ¼ by 7 in. (23.5 by 17.8 cm.)
mount: 14 by 10 5/8 in. (35.5 by 27 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTED eye, Modernist Masterworks From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #17
pre-sale est.: $250,000-$350,000
Price realized: $1,203,750
**WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ARTIST


2) PAUL STRAND (1890-1976)
Akeley Motion Picture Camera, New York, 1922
2 gelatin silver prints, flush-mounted back-to-back
various notations (on the recto/reverse of the flush-mount)
image: each 9 5/8 by 7 5/8 in. (24.4 by 20.3 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTED eye, Modernist Masterworks From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 July 2013
lot #54
pre-sale est.: $250,000-$350,000
Price realized: $783,750


3) ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Trolley—New Orleans, 1955
gelatin silver print, printed in 1961, flush-mounted on Masonite
image/flush-mount: 11 5/8 by 16 5/8 in. (29 by 42.4 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #251
pre-sale est.: $400,000-$600,000
Price realized: $663,750
**WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ARTIST


4) DIANE ARBUS (1923-1971)
Identical Twins Cathleen (l) and Colleen, Roselle, N.J., 1967
gelatin silver print
15 by 14 ¾ in. (38.1 by 37.5 cm.)
signed and dated ‘1966 [sic] in stylus on the recto
signed, titled and dated ‘1966’ [sic] in ink on the verso
accompanied by a signed postcard from Diane Arbus to Penny Ray
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday 2 & 3 April 2013
lot #28
pre-sale est.: $180,000-$220,000
Price realized: $602,500
**WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY THE ARTIST


5) EDWARD WESTON (1886-1958)
Two Shells, 1927
matte-surface gelatin silver print mounted to large buff-colored card
signed and dated in pencil on the mount
9 3/8 by 6 7/8 in. (23.8 by 17.2 cm.)
SOTHEBY’S, N.Y.: The Modern Image: Photographs From an Important American Collection, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #18
pre-sale est.: $600,000-$900,000
Price realized: $533,000


6) LASZLO MOHOLY-NAGY (1895-1946)
Untitled (Photogram), 1923-1925
gelatin silver print, printed 1929
annotation ‘fotogramm’, ‘berlin w 50’ by Lucia Moholy in ink
stamped ‘foto moholy-nagy’ and
‘moholy-nagy berlin-chbg/gh 1V/Berlin W 50’ (on the verso)
image/sheet: 14 ¾ by 10 ¼ in. (37.5 by 27.4 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #56
pre-sale est.: $200,000-$300,000
Price realized: $507,750


7) EDWARD WESTON (1886-1958)
Nude, 1925
palladium print
signed and dated in pencil (on the mount)
image/sheet: 5 ¼ by 6 5/8 in. (14.5 by 17 cm.)
mount: 11 7/8 by 14 1/8 in. (30.2 by 35.8 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #7
pre-sale est.: $400,000-$600,000
Price realized: $483,750


8) IRVING PENN (1917-2009)
Woman in a Moroccan Palace (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), Marrakech, 1951
platinum-palladium print, flush-mounted on aluminum printed 1983
signed, titled, dated, numbered ‘3035’, inscribed in pencil
Penn copyright credit stamp and stamped ‘in addition to 40 numbered prints of this image in platinum metals, unnumbered, but signed silver prints not exceeding a total of 40 may exist’ (on the reverse of the flush-mount)
image: 19 5/8 by 19 5/8 in. (50.3 by 50.3 cm.)
flush-mount: 24 7/8 by 22 in. (63.6 by 56.3 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #123
pre-sale est.: $300,000-$500,000
Price realized: $459,750


9) ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958
gelatin silver print, printed 1958-1962
label with typed credit, title, date and caption
photographed on 8 by 10 with 19 in. Protar
‘this is the property of Edwin H. Land’ affixed
(on the reverse of the flush-mount)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #115
pre-sale est: $100,000-$150,000
Price realized: $423,750


10) MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Untitled, Cannes, 1924
gelatin silver print inscribed ‘A Francis Picabia en
grande Vitesse, Man Ray, Cannes, 1924’ (on the recto)
image: 4 3/8 by 6 ¼ in (11.2 by 21 cm.)
sheet: 5 by 6 7/8 in (12.8 by 17.5 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Tuesday 4 April 2013
lot #35
pre-sale est.: $80,000-$120,000
Price realized: $387,750


11) ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Hoboken, 1955
gelatin silver print
printed no later than 1966
8 by 12 1/8 in. (20.3 by 30.8 cm.)
SOTHEBY’S, N.Y.: Photographs From an Important American Collection,
Friday 5 April, 2013
lot #12
pre-sale est.: $150,000-$250,000
Price realized: $365,000


12) WILLIAM EGGLESTON (b. 1939)
Greenwood, Mississippi, 1973
Dye-transfer print signed, dated ‘Dec. 1976’ and inscribed
‘To Tom. I love you my friend. Damn the tarantulas, full steam ahead’
in ink (on the verso)
image: 13 7/8 by 21 5/8 in. (35.3 by 55cm.)
sheet: 20 by 24 in. (50.7 by 61 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs
Friday 5 April 2013
lot #228
pre-sale est.: $150,000-$250,000
Price realized: $363,750


13) TINA MODOTTI (1896-1942)
Untitled (Texture and Shadow), 1924-1926
palladium print; various notations in an unknown hand in pencil/ink
and ‘Creative Art, 66 Fifth Avenue, N.Y.’ credit stamp (on the verso)
image/sheet: 9 ½ by 7 ¼ in. (24.1 by 18.4 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #10
pre-sale est.: $200,000-$300,000
Price realized: $363,750


14) IRVING PENN (1917-2009)
Gingko Leaves, New York, 1990
dye-transfer print, printed 1992
signed, initialed, titled, dated, numbered ‘16970’
Penn copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp
and stamped ‘signed prints of this photograph not exceeding 22’
(on the reverse)
image/sheet: 22 7/8 by 19 ½ in. (58.5 by 50 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Friday 5 April 2013
lot #114
pre-sale est.: $80,000-$120,000
Price realized: $363,750


15) ALFRED STIEGLITZ (1864-1946)
From the Back Window—291—N.Y., Summer, 1914
platinum print, signed, titled, dated and inscribed
‘To Marie J. Rapp in friendship’ in pencil (on the mount)
image: 9 ¾ by 7 5/8 in. (24.7 by 19.3 cm.)
sheet: 9 7/8 by 10 in. (25 by 25.4 cm.)
mount: 19 by 14 in. (48.3 by 35.5 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #22
pre-sale est.: $300,000-$500,000
Price realized: $363,750


16) ALVIN L. COBURN (1882-1966)
Vortograph (The Eagle), 1917
gelatin silver print
image: 11 1/8 by 8 ¼ in. (28.4 by 21.3 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: The deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday 4 April 2013
lot #31
pre-sale est.: $200,000-$300,000
Price realized: $339,750


17) ALFRED STIEGLITZ (1864-1945)
Georgia O’Keeffe, 1919
platinum palladium print
9 ½ by 7 5/8 in. (24.1 by 19.4 cm.)
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday 2 & 3 April 2013
lot #12
pre-sale est.: $300,000-$500,000
Price realized: $302,500


18) ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Trolley—New Orleans, 1955
Gelatin silver print, likely printed before 1972
signed, titled, and dated in ink in the margin
printing notations ‘Cut A. p 167, Down Photo,’ and ‘LB 32306’
in pencil on the reverse
8 ¾ by 13 3/8 in. (22.2 by 34 cm.)
SOTHEBY’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Saturday 6 April, 2013
lot #151
pre-sale est.: $200,000-$250,000
Price realized: $293,000


19) IRVING PENN (1917-2009)
Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1950
platinum palladium print, printed 1979
19 7/8 by 19 7/8 in. (50.5 by 50.5 cm.)
signed, titled, numbered ‘1/30’ in pencil and Conde Nast copyright credit
reproduction limitation stamp on the reverse of the aluminum flush-mount
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday, 2 & 3 April, 2013
lot #19
pre-sale est.: $300,000-$500,000
Price realized: $290,500


20) WILLIAM EGGLESTON (b. 1939)
Untitled (Memphis), 1971
dye-transfer print, printed 1999 signed in ink (in the margin)
signed by William J. Eggleston 111, in ink, date, number ‘6/10’
in ink, notation ‘EAT #9903-055’ in pencil and Eggleston Artistic Trust
copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp (on the verso)
image: 21 7/8 by 14 ½ in. (55.4 by 36.7 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Friday 5 April, 2013
lot #247
pre-sale est.: $80,000-$120,000
Price realized: $279,750


21) LASZLO MOHOLY-NAGY (1895-1946)
Lyon Stadium, c. 1929
gelatin silver print, 9 ¼ by 6 7/8 in. (23.5 by 17.5 cm.)
signed ‘Foto: Moholy-Nagy’, ‘moholy-nagy/berlin’, reproduction limitation
and ‘Vu Photo’ stamps on the verso and ‘VU Photo’ stamps on the verso
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday, 2 & 3 April, 2013
lot #7
pre-sale est.: $90,000-$120,000
Price realized: $278,500


22) ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, mural-sized, mounted on Crescent
illustration board, signed, titled, and dated in ink on the reverse, framed, 1927, probably printed in the 1960s on gelatin silver paper
39 ½ by 29 in. (100.3 by 73.6 cm.)
SOTHEBY’S, N.Y.: Photographs, Saturday, 6 April 2013
lot #40
pre-sale est.: $150,000-$250,000
Price realized: $269,000


23) MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Monte Carlo Banknote (Marcel Duchamp), 1921
gelatin silver print on carte postale, printed 1930s
‘Rue Campagne Premiere (Manford M28) credit stamp (on the verso)
image/sheet: 4 5/8 by 3 7/8 in. (11.7 by 9.8 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: the deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday, 4 April 2013
lot #42
pre-sale est.: $200,000-$300,000
Price realized: $243,750


24) ROBERT FRANK (b. 1924)
Trolley—New Orleans, 1955
gelatin silver print, printed later
12 1/8 by 19 in. (30.8 by 48.3 cm.)
signed, titled ‘New Orleans’ and dated in ink in the margin
PHILLIPS, N.Y.: The Curious Collector: Important Photographs From the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana, Tuesday & Wednesday, 2 & 3 April 2013
lot #32
pre-sale est.: $200,000-$300,000
Price realized: $242,500


25) MAN RAY (1890-1976)
Untitled, 1921-1922
gelatin silver print, signed and annotated ‘epreuve proviso ire tire du Champs Delicieux’ in ink (on the verso)
image/sheet: 9 1/8 by 6 7/8 in. (23.2 by 17.5 cm.)
CHRISTIE’S, N.Y.: the deLIGHTed eye: Modernist Masterworks
From a Private Collection, Thursday, 4 April 2013
lot #28
pre-sale est.: $250,000-$350,000
Price realized: $219,750


2013 SPRING AUCTION TOTALS IN NEW YORK / $30,855,193 [**2011 SPRING AUCTION TOTALS IN NEW YORK / $19,582,501] [**2008 SPRING AUCTION TOTALS IN NEW YORK / $35,577,525]


SOTHEBYS: $7,605,568 [**2011 SPRING / $5,632,188] [**2008 SPRING / $17,302,050]
Sale: N08979 / Photographs / $5,061,191 / April 6 / lots sold: 182 / lots unsold: 56 / average per lot: $27,809.
Sale: N09027 / The Modern Image: Photographs from an Important American Collection / $2,544,377 / April 5 / lots sold: 49 / lots unsold: 10 / average per lot: $51,926.

PHILLIPS: $8,350,125 [**2011 SPRING / $5,802,250] [**2008 SPRING / $3,269,400]
Sale: NY040213 / Photographs / $3,307,375 / April 3 / lots sold: 118 / lots unsold: 23 / average per lot: $28,029.
Sale: NY040113 / The Curious Collector: Important Photographs from the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana / $5,042,750 / April 2 & 3 / lots sold: 140 / lots unsold: 24 / average per lot: $36,020.

CHRISTIE’S: $14,899,500 [**2011 SPRING / $8,148,063] [**2008 SPRING / $15,006,075]
Sale: #2691 / Photographs / $7,245,375 / April 5 / lots sold: 172 / lots unsold: 32 / average per lot: $42,124.
Sale #2767 / The Delighted Eye: Modernist Masterworks from a Private Collection / $7,654,125 / April 4 / lots sold: 54 / lots unsold: 17 / average per lot: $141,743.

 

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