Masahisa Fukase - Photographs London Thursday, May 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • 'The Ravens themselves weren’t really the point. I myself had become a raven.' —Masahisa Fukase

     Masahisa Fukase's Ravens is one of the most celebrated bodies of work within the history of Japanese post-war photography. Fukase began photographing ravens in 1976, at a time when his marriage to Yoko Wanibe, a principle subject of much of his previous work, was beginning to disintegrate. He turned his camera to the ubiquitous and ominous forms of ravens, flying and still, solitary and en masse. The images captured by Fukase express the solitude and misfortune he felt as his personal life collapsed. His six-year obsession with ravens culminated in his now iconic photobook Ravens, published in 1986.


    Fukase’s works have been exhibited internationally, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, MoMA and ICP in New York, V&A, Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery in London. His works reside in such prominent institutions as V&A, London; SFMOMA; Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Met, New York.

    • Provenance

      Masahisa Fukase Archives

    • Literature

      M. Fukase & A. Hasegawa, The Solitude of Ravens, Bedford Arts, 1991, p. 71 (variant)
      M. Holborn, Black Sun: The Eyes of Four, New York: Aperture, 1986, pp. 60-61 (variant)


Kanazawa from Ravens

Gelatin silver print.
23.3 x 34.8 cm (9 1/8 x 13 3/4 in.)
Signed in rōmaji and dated in pencil on the verso. Certificate of Authenticity accompanying the work.

Early Ravens prints, printed by the artist, are rare.

Full Cataloguing

£8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for £15,120

Contact Specialist

Rachel Peart
Head of Department, London

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

General Enquiries
+44 20 7318 4092



London Auction 20 May 2021