Horst P. Horst - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta

  • Literature

    Kazmaier, Horst: Sixty Years of Photography, pl. 42

  • Catalogue Essay

    The still-life images by Horst P. Horst embody the Classical tenets that he dutifully employed throughout his career, be it in his floral, fashion or figurative works. As a former student of the famed architect Le Corbusier, Horst’s interest in architecture, line, form and volume began at an early age. His love for these principles was further applied to his photography, which he began doing in 1930, shortly after moving to Paris from his native Germany. Just as Horst staged his models into Classical statues in contrapposto poses under chiaroscuro lighting, he utilized the same dramatic staging and effective lighting to animate his still-lifes, creating images of sublime grace and elegance.

    In Classical Still Life, N.Y., 1937, (lot 24), Horst successfully composed seemingly disparate objects of varying texture, mass, scale and volume into a harmonious scene that immediately evokes notions of ancient Grecian ruins as much as it does of a streamlined Modernist aesthetic. Likewise, in Houdon, Still Life, Paris, 1937, (lot 53), Horst assembled a group of objects, mostly figurative—a Roman bust, a freestanding Houdon sculpture, a hand, and a hoop. Just as the Classical bust provided inspiration for the French Enlightenment sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon in his Neoclassical works, Horst is inferred to be among the next generation of Classical followers. This is most clearly evidenced by the inclusion of the loop, which connotes the cyclical nature in the arts. Both images stand as a testament to Horst’s respect for his predecessors, and his uncontested ability to reference their work without relinquishing his own undeniable contribution.


Classical Still Life, N.Y.

Platinum palladium print, printed later.
18 x 14 in. (45.7 x 35.6 cm).
Signed in pencil in the margin; signed, titled, dated, numbered AP 2/2 and annotated 'Platinum Palladium' in pencil on the verso. One from an edition of 10 plus 2 artist's proofs.

$30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for $37,500


4 October 2011
New York