Alec Soth - Photographs New York Thursday, April 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Alec Soth’s seminal 2004 book Sleeping by the Mississippi is a collection of photographs taken on various road trips along the riverbank that together present a portrait of life on the oft-forgotten ‘third coast.’ Featured as the cover of the book’s second edition, Charles, Vasa, Minnesota depicts a man standing on the dilapidated side roof (or deck) of a house, holding two model airplanes. While it is void of the overt American symbolism of the flag and open road, it is rife with the American spirit, as personified by a man in nature exploring the limits of humanity to set flight.


    Cover of 2nd edition of Sleeping by the Mississippi (not in sale)
    Cover of 2nd edition of Sleeping by the Mississippi (not in sale)

    Other prints of this image are in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis Institute of Art; and San Francisco Museum of Art.

    • Provenance

      Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, 2004

    • Literature

      Steidl, Alec Soth: Sleeping by the Mississippi, cover


Charles, Vasa, Minnesota

Chromogenic print.
39 5/8 x 31 1/2 in. (100.6 x 80 cm)
Signed, titled, dated '2004' and annotated 'AP' in ink on a label affixed to the reverse of the frame. AP2 from an edition of 10 plus 2 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

$30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for $113,400

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas



New York Auction 8 April 2021