Amanda Means - Photographs London Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | Phillips
  • 'I’m fascinated by what I call traditional black-and-white photography’s “mind twists” – its upside downs/downside ups, negatives/positives, blacks/whites…'
    —Amanda Means
    Amanda Means (b.1945) explains her camera-less process for her transformative Water Glass series: ‘My instrument is an 8x10 inch wooden enlarger whose lens is pointed toward the adjacent wall, onto which is tacked a large sheet of photographic paper. With wood and a black cloth, I’ve constructed a large chamber between the powerful lamp and the lens, into which I place an actual water glass.’ Means’s technique produces a negative image of the water glass, from which she creates a 4x5 negative for printing her editions. The resulting image, as seen here, has been rendered by light passing through the glass, the water and the ice, illuminating the rich textures, shapes and lines from the delicate air bubbles to the vertical streaks of condensation. Isolating the pure form of her subject, Means captures the ‘unique beauty and limitless potential’ hidden within this ordinary household object.


    Amanda Means working with the water glass and her wooden enlarger in the darkroom. Courtesy of the artist.
    Amanda Means working with the water glass and her wooden
    enlarger in the darkroom. Courtesy of the artist.


    The New York-based artist has exhibited internationally and her work resides in numerous public institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, SFMOMA and the National Gallery of Canada. Means was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017 for her ongoing contributions to the medium of photography.



Water Glass 3, (Variant 2)

Gelatin silver print, mounted.
Image: 116.8 x 96.5 cm (46 x 38 in.)
Frame: 124.5 x 104.1 cm (49 x 41 in.)

Signed, titled, dated and numbered AP2 in ink on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the mount.

This work is AP2 from the sold-out edition of 5 + 2 APs.

Full Cataloguing

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £15,120

Contact Specialist

Rachel Peart
Head of Department, London

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

General Enquiries
+44 20 7318 4092


London Auction 23 November 2021