Garry Winogrand - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Bishop, Women Are Beautiful; Stack, Winogrand: 1964, p. 265; Szarkowski, Winogrand: Figments from the Real World, p. 21,25, 27, 90, 104-111; T.F. Editores, Garry
    Winogrand: The Game of Photography
    , cover and p. 16, 75, 77-79, 81, 85-86, 89-90, 92-93, 116-117

  • Catalogue Essay

    Winogrand on Women
    Whenever I’ve seen an attractive woman, I’ve done my best to photograph her. I don’t know if all the women in the photographs are beautiful, but I do know that the women are beautiful in the photographs. By the term “attractive women,” I mean a woman I react to, positively. What do I react to in a woman? I do not mean as a man getting to know a woman, but as a photographer photographing. I know it’s not just prettiness or physical dimensions. I suspect that I respond to their energies, how they stand and move their bodies and faces. In the end, the photographs are descriptions of poses or attitudes that give an idea, a hint of their energies. After all, I do not know the women in these photographs. Not their names, work, or lives. “Women Are Beautiful” is a good title for this book because they are.

    Garry Winogrand
    Austin, Texas, 1975

    Over a span of 20 years beginning in the early 1960s, Garry Winogrand photographed anonymous women throughout the country and abroad, compiling 85 of the images in the portfolio Women Are Beautiful. While some posit that it was his loneliness that initially drove him to the project, it is clear that it was his genuine love for and interest in documenting the modern woman, in a modern way, that kept it going throughout the years.

    Shooting with a 35mm wide angled lens that allowed him to quickly capture comprehensive scenes at a closer range, Winogrand walked the streets, beaches and parks of New York, Los Angeles, Austin, London and elsewhere, taking snapshots of women in a variety of poses and situations: alone, in groups, mid-stride, mid-speech, sometimes aware of Winogrand’s lens and sometimes completely oblivious to it. Connecting all of these images is the informal aesthetic of street photography with the cropped compositions, tilted angles and soft-focused details that mimick the pulsating energy of contemporary life, that would come to define Winogrand’s style. In the 1960s and 70s, as women were exploring and experiencing the world liberated from their traditional roles as wives, mothers, sisters and daughters, Winogrand was photographing them in that new realm with a similarly liberated style; free from the constraints of traditional documentary photography. The modern woman was active, social, confident, carefree and this is the woman that Winogrand celebrates throughout Women are Beautiful.


Women Are Beautiful

New York: RFG Publishing, Inc., 1981. Eighty-five gelatin silver prints.
Each 8 3/4 x 13 in. (22.2 x 33 cm) or the reverse.
Each signed and numbered 12/20 AP in pencil on the verso; numbered XII in ink on colophon. Title page. One from an edition of 80 plus 20 artist's proofs. Enclosed in a clamshell box.

$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $86,500


4 October 2011
New York