Richard Avedon - Photographs London Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Rome

  • Literature

    'Pale Fire, Dark Flame: Catherine Deneuve and Sophia Loren', Vogue US, December 1970 p. 122, variant crop
    Avedon: Photographs 1947-1977, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1978, pl.121
    Richard Avedon: Performance, New York: Abrams, 2008, pp. 70-71

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘It was not so much about hair and much more about creation of a fantasy.’

    Angelica Houston from the forward to Ara Gallant

    In 1965, Richard Avedon brought his talent for capturing fluid movement from the pages of Harper’s Bazaar to Vogue. There, he encountered Ara Gallant, one of the first hairstylists hired by Vogue for photo assignments, and the two forged a creative collaboration that earned them the nickname ‘Aradon’. While Avedon’s models leaped and jumped across the set, Gallant energised their hair to ensure the same intensity was present in every strand.

    Twiggy, Hair by Ara Gallant, Paris studio, January, 1968 (lot 26) marks the debut of Gallant’s ‘flying hair trick’ as captured in Avedon’s photographs. As Twiggy flips her head up towards the ceiling, her locks flow as though flying of their own accord. Two years later, the collaborative duo revisited this technique for Vogue US with Sophia Loren (lot 27). In this photograph, appearing at auction for the first time, Loren with closed eyes sensually shakes her head from side to side, her hair gracefully filling the entire frame. This illusion remained synonymous with Gallant and no one ever photographed it like Avedon did.

  • 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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Sophia Loren, Hair by Ara Gallant, New York studio, October

Gelatin silver print, printed 1981, flush-mounted to linen.
44 x 59.6 cm (17 3/8 x 23 1/2 in.)
Signed and numbered 37/50 in ink, copyright credit reproduction limitation, title, date and edition stamps on the reverse of the flush-mount.

£30,000 - 50,000 

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Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
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+44 20 7318 4098


London Auction 18 May 2017