Richard Misrach - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia

  • Literature

    Fraenkel Gallery, Richard Misrach, Chronologies, pl. 1

  • Catalogue Essay

    The special look of Misrach’s black-and-white desert work, is due to the process of split-toning. Split-toning involves immersing the processed print in a chemical bath of special toner which affects the tonal ranges of the print differently: in the present image the toning is most prominent in the darks and mid-tones, but less present in the highlights. It is a complex technique to do well, but Misrach was a master at it.

    Misrach preferred a quality Agfa paper with a very high silver content. When Agfa reduced the silver content in their papers in 1978, this left Misrach without paper that met his high standards, and, for this reason, he ceased printing the project. Consequently, works from this series are rare.

  • Artist Biography

    Richard Misrach

    American • 1949

    Known for his ethereal depictions of the American Southwest and stunning use of color, Richard Misrach photographs dramatic land and seascapes, and, more recently, produces breathtakingly complex abstractions. Misrach's work engages with traditional ideas of the sublime landscape, as their immense beauty engulfs both the subjects in his photographs as well as the viewer.

    On the Beach, one of Misrach's most famous series, features spectacular aerial images of the sea and beach that convey both the vulnerability and preciousness of life. One of the most pervasive themes present in his work is the relationship between humans and their environment, depicting our impact on the world through feats of engineering as in his Golden Gate Bridge series, and with his Desert Cantos with nuclear testing in the American desert. 

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Ocotillo at Night

Toned gelatin silver print.
15 x 14 1/2 in. (38.1 x 36.8 cm)
Signed, dated, copyright notation and annotated 'Plate #33' in pencil on the verso.

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $15,120

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 6 April 2022