Chris McCaw - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips
  • 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

      Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York

    • Exhibited

      One: Unique Photo-Based Images, Transformer Station, Cleveland, 18 September - 31 January 2021

    • Catalogue Essay

      Each print is titled as below:

      Untitled, 2008
      (Mojave/ full day), 2008
      Sunburned GSP #206, 2008

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


Sunburned GSP#206 (Mojave/Full Day)

Unique triptych of gelatin silver 8 x 10 inch paper negatives.
Each roughly 9 3/4 x 8 in. (24.8 x 20.3 cm) Combined 9 3/4 x 24 7/8 in. (24.8 x 63.2 cm)
Each signed and sequentially numbered in pencil on the verso; one with copyright credit notation and two with titles.

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $9,525

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023