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  • Provenance

    Directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    While at Vanity Fair from 1983-1988, Ruth Ansel continued to work with ground-breaking photographers whose portraits defined the era, including Annie Leibovitz (lots 141-142) and Bruce Weber (lot 140). On working with Leibovitz, Ansel recalled, “Annie has the same kind of restless and controlling energy as Avedon did. She never tires, is demanding drives her studio people relentlessly and often becomes so passionate about reaching that place of perfection that she loses objectivity. Even when tensions are at their highest, she has a devoted nucleus of people who believe in her so completely that they share her passion for perfection. Her interest is in getting something unpredictable from the sitter. It is the same result I hope to achieve as a magazine art director. She is a conceptual artist, a fashion photographer and a portraitist, which is why her work is so much in demand.” Ansel continues, “She gives precise and clear instructions as to what she wants and how she sees it, especially when she works with performers, but always leaves room for collaboration between herself and the subject.”

    The portrait of Muhammad Ali in the present lot was taken in 1996, the same year Ali memorably lit the Olympic Cauldron to open the Atlanta Games. Bruce Weber’s spread of Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange (lot 140) as well as the Leibovitz’ Selected Portraits, on offer as lot 142, were published under Ansel’s art direction.

An Influential Vision: The Collection of Ruth Ansel

141

Muhammad Ali, New York

1996
Gelatin silver print.
13 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. (34.9 x 34.9 cm)
Signed, titled, numbered AP 14 and inscribed 'for Ruth' in ink in the margin. One from an edition of 40 plus artist's proofs.

Estimate
$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $20,000

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Vanessa Hallett
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Sarah Krueger
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Photographs Evening & Day

New York 5 & 6 October 2016