Richard Avedon - A Constant Pursuit: Photographs from the Collection of Ed Cohen & Victoria Shaw New York Thursday, October 4, 2018 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 1999

  • Literature

    Avedon, Woman in the Mirror, p. 88
    Avedon, An Autobiography, pl. 134
    Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Richard Avedon - Photographs 1946-2004, p. 60
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Avedon's Endgame, n.p.
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Richard Avedon Portraits, n.p.
    Whitney Museum of American Art, Richard Avedon: Evidence 1944-1994, p. 138
    Greenough, Snyder, Travis and Westerbeck, On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography, p. 374
    Hartwell, The Making of a Collection: Photographs from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, p. 94
    Tsukuba Museum of Photography, Paris-New York-Tokyo, pl. 22

  • Catalogue Essay

    “‘For hours she danced and sang and flirted and did this thing that’s—she did Marilyn Monroe … Then there was the inevitable drop … she sat in the corner like a child, with everything gone.” And [Avedon] clicked his shutter once more. “I wouldn’t photograph her without her knowledge of it. And as I came with the camera, I saw that she was not saying no.” The resultant final frame is among the most famous portraits ever made—one that is, as the photographer Vik Muniz neatly put it, “a picture of Norma Jean, not Marilyn.”
    -New York Magazine, 24 October 2007

  • 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.

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Marilyn Monroe, New York City, May 6

Gelatin silver print.
15 1/4 x 15 3/8 in. (38.7 x 39.1 cm)
Signed and numbered 1/4 in ink in the margin; signed, numbered 1/4 in pencil, title, date, copyright credit reproduction limitation and 'This print was made at the time the photograph was taken' stamps on the verso.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $250,000

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A Constant Pursuit: Photographs from the Collection of Ed Cohen & Victoria Shaw

New York Auction 4 October 2018