Christopher Williams - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • 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

      David Zwirner, New York

    • Exhibited

      Light of Day, Transformer Station, Cleveland, 1 February - 4 May 2013

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


Camera: Praktika, Praktisix (1959-64), Kamera- und Kinowerke Dresden, 120 film 6x6 cm, height: 11 cm, width: 16.5 cm, depth: 12 cm, weight: 1280 g / Lens: Carl-Zeiss-Jena, Tessar 1:2,8 80mm, normal lens: Biometar 80/2.8, lens mount: Praktisix Bayonet, typical serial no: 20830 November 9th, 2010

Archival pigment print.
17 3/4 x 21 3/4 in. (45.1 x 55.2 cm)
Signed in ink, printed title, date, and number 3/10 on a label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount.

Full Cataloguing

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $21,590

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023