ULTIMATE Newcomers

ULTIMATE Newcomers

Debuts from the ULTIMATE selection at Phillips 22 November Photographs auction in London.

Debuts from the ULTIMATE selection at Phillips 22 November Photographs auction in London.

Prince Gyasi, The Arrival, 2022. ULTIMATE: Photographs London.


Whether the first or the last, a one-off or the only, each work in Phillips' ULTIMATE collection is a rare masterpiece on offer exclusively in our 22 November London Photographs auction. The photographs in the collection span the globe, from the heart of South Africa to small town America, as well as quiet, etheral scenes, each delivering meditations on place, belonging, and presence from some of the most saught-after names in photography. 



Alice Mann

Alice MannDr Van Der Ross Drummies, Cape Town, South Africa, 2017. ULTIMATE: Photographs London

From 2017 to 2020, South African artist Alice Mann (b.1991) photographed the aspirational, all-female teams of her homeland's drum majorettes, affectionately known as "Drummies." Perfectly capturing the spirit of this unique sport, the present work represents one of the first teams that Mann worked with at Dr Van Der Ross Primary School in Cape Town. "I was struck by how confident and self-assured the girls were," recalls Mann, "and how they instructed me on how they wanted me to make the portraits." Here, we see a moment of collective joy as the girls dance together in their white-heeled boots and matching silver-sequined uniforms, complemented by their fluffy, colourful busbies. In her series Drummies, Mann "challenges the view of young South African women as disempowered victims" by expressing the pride, determination and empowerment of these young female athletes. Mann has received numerous awards, notably the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for this series in 2018. Drummies has been widely exhibited, most recently at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, and is the subject of her first monograph, published in 2021. Another print from the edition is held in the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection.


Carl Corey

Carl Corey2412 • Luck, Wisconsin from Habitat, 2008. ULTIMATE: Photographs London

Wisconsin-based artist Carl Corey’s (b.1954) oeuvre is characterized by graphic simplicity, playful humor, and a keen interest in documenting the "Man Made America" of the Midwest. For the present work from Habitat, a series of cultural topographies, he traveled to the village of Luck in Wisconsin to photograph its town sign against an empty night landscape. "I wanted to visit the area on a summer night to allow for the ambient light on the sign and the distant water tower," Corey explains. "The night isolates all surroundings and allows for the best interpretation regarding my intentions with the photograph." For him, "luck" is somewhat a metaphor for small town America, and he uses the vivid green of the lawn contrasted with the bold red text to drive the viewer’s experience. Here, with his sleek yet offbeat style, the artist presents an ambiguous tableau, unoccupied by people, that provides no fixed or clear meaning. Corey has exhibited widely, published four photobooks and received numerous awards, notably a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019. His work is held at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, the New York Public Library Photography Collection, and the Princeton University Art Museum, among others.


Susan Gamble 

Susan GambleKnickers & Stockings from Body in Question, 1982. ULTIMATE: Photographs London

Auction Debut

A pioneer in the use of holography as art, Susan Gamble (b.1957) creates mesmerizing holograms that showcase the medium’s distinctive spectral colors, moiré patterns, and illusion of three-dimensionality in unprecedented ways. To create the one-of-a-kind diptych offered here, Gamble "dressed" each 8x10 photographic glass plate with lingerie and then exposed it to a laser to record imprints of the garments directly onto the plate. Due to this analogue, cameraless process, whereby each hologram is a single exposure, the resulting works that form the Body in Question series are each unique and show variations. As the artist explains: "A hologram has a very fine resolution and dynamic range. I chose these very delicate and feminine subjects to explore this aspect; the sharp and brilliant definition of the materials – lace and nylon – are seen in silhouette against a brilliant interference of sunset colors." Gamble’s 1982 holograms hark back to William Henry Fox Talbot’s 19th-century lace experiments from photography’s first decade. Requiring illumination from the rear, these transmission holograms are best displayed on a plinth.

Together with Michael Wenyon, her creative partner since 1983, Gamble was named UNESCO laureate in 1993 for aesthetic development in technology. The artist duo has exhibited internationally and their works reside in such prominent institutions as the V&A, London; the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Boston Athenæum; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC.


Jeremy Cowart

Jeremy CowartHouston in Red, Lightograph IV, 2022. ULTIMATE: Photographs London

Auction Debut

In 2014, Jeremy Cowart’s (b.1977) 15-year career as a celebrated portrait photographer and his long-term experimentation with various mediums culminated in the creation of his first Lightograph, an interactive digital work. Using Profoto strobes and Canon DSLRs, the artist captures the same subject in the same pose in rapid succession through multiple lightings. In the artist’s proprietary Lightograph portraiture technique, only the light moves and the subject remains still. "There are no 3D or AI effects or any post-work in general," Cowart notes. "A Lightograph is achieved with analogue methods and studio lighting." Minted as an NFT, the featured digital artwork Houston in Red, Lightograph IV illuminates and darkens as light moves across its varied surfaces: the subject’s skin, the high-shine fabric of his jacket and the many pearls adorning his necklace. Resembling a 19th-century cased photograph, the striking portrait is displayed within a leather-bound case with velvet borders and a passe-partout. In this unique work, which oscillates between light and shadow, analogue and digital, and historical and contemporary, Cowart invites the viewer to experience his portraiture for the 21st century. His photographs have been published in Rolling Stone, The New York Times and Nylon and his digital series Block Queens and Lightographs have been featured across NFT collecting platforms.


Ilona Langbroek

Ilona LangbroekLonging for Insulinde #1 from Silent Loss, 2021. ULTIMATE: Photographs London

Auction Debut

Dutch artist Ilona Langbroek’s (b.1970) enigmatic series Silent Loss is inspired by her family history in the former Dutch East Indies, known also as Insulinde. This body of work explores the traces of a complex colonial past and the lost identity of a generation who were forced to leave their country after the Indonesian National Revolution. In Longing for Insulinde #1, an elegant figure wears a kimono (an indoor attire of Dutch and Dutch-Indo women in the former colony) with her face hidden behind a parasol. The atmospheric use of color, light, and shadow exudes a sense of mystery and melancholy that immediately recalls the 17th-century painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Using post-production and printing techniques, Langbroek crafts a mesmerising tableau that transports the viewer to another place and time. Her first solo museum show, Traces, is currently on view at Museum Hilversum.


Prince Gyasi 

Prince Gyasi, The Arrival, 2022. ULTIMATE: Photographs London.

Ghanaian artist Prince Gyasi (b.1995) creates powerful images that are hyper-colorful and hopeful to tell the stories of marginalized individuals from his home city of Accra. Gyasi has synaesthesia, a neurological condition that causes a blending of the senses, and "sees" letters, numbers, and the days of the week as particular colors. His unique sensibilities are reflected in The Arrival, featured here – the vibrant pinks against the jewel blues and the dramatic pops of bright yellow imbue the work with an otherworldly quality. "I see hope as pink," notes the artist, "and blue signifies calmness. [...] The Arrival highlights the breakthrough of a once struggling fisherman in Jamestown." He has collaborated with numerous high-profile brands, including Apple, Puma, and Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, and his editorial features include a March 2021 cover of Madame Figaro with Naomi Campbell. Gyasi is also the co-founder of the non-profit organisation Boxed Kids, which helps to provide education for children in Accra.



Discover More from Photographs London >



Recommended Reading

Ellen von Unwerth: In Conversation >

How Peter C. Bunnell Inspired an Entire Generation of Photography >