Erwin Olaf - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Rooted in themes of voyeurism and shame, Erwin Olaf’s Keyhole series depicts individuals with their bodies hunched and turned away from the camera. In certain images, such at Keyhole #1, Olaf photographs the voyeurs as they peer through the suggested keyhole, while in others he shows the scene on the other side of the door. His casting of adolescents was deliberate; as critic Francis Hodgson’s notes, ‘Adoloscents often feel that they are being looked at all the time, with an uneasy mix of desire and hesitation, wanting to be seen and wanting at the same time to go back to that childhood refuge of being unaware of the gaze of others.’ Masterfully visualizing the unspoken, Olaf explores the tension between observation and awareness. 

    • Provenance

      Hasted Kraeutler, New York

    • Literature

      Aperture, Erwin Olaf Volume II, p. 32


Keyhole 1

Chromogenic print.
43 5/8 x 32 5/8 in. (110.8 x 82.9 cm)
Overall 45 1/8 x 34 1/8 in. (114.6 x 86.7 cm)

Signed, titled, dated and numbered AP1 in ink on an artist's label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount. One from an edition of 7 plus 2 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

$15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for $15,240

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023