André Gelpke - Photographs London Friday, May 19, 2023 | Phillips
  • ‘‘Each of these photos is an inner image based in reality that already hazily existed in my imagination. They are photos of a search, of unexpected sights and sudden recognitions, of holding on to, but also of not understanding.’’ 
    —André Gelpke 

    Here, we see two close-up figures – one in a swimming costume and the other nude – both gazing beyond the horizon with their backs turned and faces hidden. This bold composition graced the cover of André Gelpke’s (b.1947) 1983 monograph Fluchtgedanken [Getaway Thoughts]. As exemplified in Sylt, Gelpke’s images invite the viewer to escape from the everyday into a dream like realm. Depicted in timeless monochrome, the mysterious figures and setting seem to connect through some subconscious logic. Other prints of this image are held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Centre Pompidou, Paris. 

    A. Gelpke, Fluchtgedanken, Munich: Mahnert-Lueg, 1983. 


    • Provenance

      Galerie Kicken, Berlin, 2014

    • Literature

      A. Gelpke, Fluchtgedanken: Ein Monolog, Munich: Mahnert-Lueg, 1983, cover, n.p.


Sylt from Fluchtgedanken

Gelatin silver print, printed 1981.
41.3 x 27.3 cm (16 1/4 x 10 3/4 in.)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered 6/6 in pencil on the verso.

Full Cataloguing

£7,000 - 9,000 ‡♠

Sold for £10,795

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London Auction 19 May 2023