Richard Avedon - Photographs London Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sotheby's, New York, 8 October 1997, lot 404

  • Literature

    K. Fraser, On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue, New York: Random House, 1992, pp. 232–233
    Richard Avedon: Evidence 1944–1994, New York: Random House, 1994, p. 163 for a variant
    Richard Avedon Photographs: 1944-2004, Humlebæk: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 23 for a variant

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The snake wound up her body very slowly. Nobody was telling it what to do. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. When the snake got to her ear, he kissed her and put out his tongue. Then the shoot was over and I was crying."

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

Gelatin silver print.
73.7 x 109.8 cm (29 x 43 1/4 in.)
Signed, numbered 41/200 in pencil on the mount and overmat; copyright credit reproduction limitation, title, date and edition stamps on reverse of the mount.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 21 May 2015 4pm