Andrew Moore - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • "Detroit’s transfiguration has led it beyond decay into a surreal landscape."
    —Andrew Moore

    Detroit Disassembled, the title of Andrew Moore’s widely acclaimed series, alludes to the assembly lines that led Detroit to its prominence as an industrial utopia in the early 20th century and its seeming deconstruction in the post-automotive era. In 2008-09, Moore travelled to Detroit and documented its surreal post-industrial landscape with his large-format 8 x 10 analogue camera.

    The present work is a key image in the series and was selected for the front cover of his book Detroit Disassembled, published on the occasion of his 2010 exhibition at the Akron Art Museum in Ohio. It shows a massive hall for rolling steel at Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge plant, once the largest industrial complex in the world. While the exact date when operations ceased in this hall is unknown, this area of the plant had been neglected for many decades. The epic scale and the deconstructed structure of lines, shapes, light and shadow of Moore’s Rouge is at once commanding and haunting.


    The exhibition Detroit Disassembled: Photographs by Andrew Moore at the Akron Art Museum was made possible by a major gift from Fred and Laura Bidwell. They also underwrote the accompanying publication on which the present lot is the cover.


    The remarkable group of photographs comprising Lots 161 through 200 in this auction come from the collection of Fred and Laura Bidwell, collectors, philanthropists, and founders of the Transformer Station, the renowned exhibition space for contemporary photography and art in the Hingetown neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The Bidwells’ collection presents a truly enlightened selection of work, ranging from classic practitioners such as Lee Friedlander and Stephen Shore to photographers working at the very cutting edge of today’s artistic practice, such as Kehinde Wiley, Zanele Muholi, and Hank Willis Thomas, among many others. Themes of identity and self-representation course through these works. An inquiry into the intrinsic nature of photography is another through-line, with artists as conceptually diverse as Alison Rossiter, Matthew Brandt, and Christopher Williams pushing the boundaries of the medium to deepen our understanding of it. Central to the collection is Hiroshi Sugimoto’s masterful Lightning Fields 128 (lot 169), which is emblematic of the creative spark underlying Bidwells’ progressive conception of photography.  


    Driven by a passion for photography and a desire to make their collection accessible to the public, the Bidwells renovated a former Cleveland Railway Company transformer substation into a state-of-the-art exhibition venue. Boasting 3,500 square feet of exhibition space, the Transformer Station became a vital part of the city’s artistic community, hosting exhibitions drawn from the Bidwells’ collection, exhibitions curated by the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as performances and talks. Earlier this year, the Bidwells gifted Transformer Station to the Cleveland Museum of Art which will continue to use this unique space.


    Proceeds from the sale of these works will support the Bidwells’ active philanthropic endeavors.




    Read More about High Voltage→ 

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist

    • Exhibited

      Detroit Disassembled: Photographs by Andrew Moore, Akron Art Museum, Akron, 5 June - 10 October 2010; Queens Museum of Art, Queens, 28 August - 15 January 2012; National Building Museum, Washington D.C., 30 September 2012 - 17 March 2013

    • Literature

      Akron Art Museum, Detroit Disassembled: Photographs by Andrew Moore, cover and p. 9, there titled Rolling hall, Ford Motor Company, River Rouge Complex, Dearborn
      Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010, pp. 62-63
      Reflex Editions, Andrew Moore: Making History, Selected Photographs, 1980-2010, pp. 24-25

High Voltage: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection of Fred and Laura Bidwell


The Rouge, Dearborn, Michigan from Detroit Disassembled

Chromogenic print, printed 2010.
61 3/4 x 80 in. (156.8 x 203.2 cm)
Overall 74 x 90 in. (188 x 228.6 cm)

Signed, titled, dated twice, and numbered 3/3 in ink on the reverse of the flush-mount.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023