Richard Avedon - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Richard Avedon Foundation, New York

  • Literature

    Fraser, On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue, pp. 232-233
    Random House, Richard Avedon: Evidence 1944-1994, p. 162 for a variant

  • Catalogue Essay

    “When you look at the photograph it all looks so easy... she spent two hours on a cement ­floor naked. The [snake] trainer would start anchoring the snake with her ankles and see where the snake would go... hoping that the snake, cause there is no talking to the snake, would creep up in a way that was beautiful.”
    -Richard Avedon

    Please reference the beginning of the afternoon session (lot 140) for an essay on this collection.

  • Artist Biography

    Richard Avedon

    American • 1923 - 2004

    From the inception of Richard Avedon's career, first at Harper's Bazaar and later at Vogue, Avedon challenged the norms for editorial photography. His fashion work gained recognition for its seemingly effortless and bursting energy, while his portraits were celebrated for their succinct eloquence. "I am always stimulated by people," Avedon has said, "almost never by ideas." 

    Indeed, as seen in his portraits — whether of famed movie stars or everyday people — the challenge for Avedon was conveying the essence of his subjects. His iconic images were usually taken on an 8 x 10 inch camera in his studio with a plain white background and strobe lighting, creating his signature minimalist style. Avedon viewed the making and production of photographs as a performance similar to literature and drama, creating portraits that are simultaneously intensely clear, yet deeply mysterious.

    View More Works



Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California, June 14

Gelatin silver print.
32 x 49 in. (81.3 x 124.5 cm)
Signed and numbered 184/200 in pencil on the verso.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $118,750

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs
+1 212 940 1245


New York 30 September & 1 October 2013