Ellen von Unwerth - Photographs London Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Catalogue Essay

    Ellen von Unwerth has photographed Naomi Campbell in many guises over the last 30 years, and for the film noir inspired Spring/Summer 2015 Agent Provocateur campaign, she portrays the supermodel as a contemporary femme fatale.

    The present work’s title Mission Accomplished reveals von Unwerth’s humorous approach to image-making – we almost can hear Naomi’s character utter the words ‘mission accomplished’ into the receiver as she looks to her right, away from the camera. What Campbell’s ‘mission’ is, we can only guess. A sense of mystification is expressed in the heroine, the interior, as well as the props, inviting more questions about the scene than answers. Von Unwerth’s extraordinary flair for imagery is evident in this provocative and powerful representation of seductive pleasure.

    Her work has been exhibited widely, including Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Portrait Gallery, London; and Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.



Mission Accomplished

Archival pigment print, flush-mounted.
Image/Sheet: 139.9 x 200.8 cm (55 1/8 x 79 in.)
Frame: 145 x 206 cm (57 1/8 x 81 1/8 in.)

Signed, dated and numbered 1/1 in ink on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

This work is number 1 from the edition of 1 and is unique in this size.

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £27,500

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4098


London Auction 18 May 2017