Ruud van Empel - Photographs London Friday, September 25, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Stux Gallery, New York, 2006

  • Literature

    Ruud van Empel: Moon Venus World, Nijmegen: Museum Het Valkhof, 2006, p. 79
    D. Klochko, Picturing Eden, Rochester, NY: George Eastman Museum, 2006, cover and pl. 138
    Ruud Van Empel: Photoworks 1995-2010, Amsterdam: PhotoWorks International, 2011, pp. 27, 65

  • Catalogue Essay

    Long sold out and appearing at auction for the first time, World #1 is the work that led Ruud van Empel to focus on black children as his long-term subject and set off his seminal World series. Presented in a white Sunday-best dress that van Empel remembers from his childhood, a young black girl – portrayed as a symbol of purity and innocence – is surrounded by a fantastical forest. ‘To me, both nature and the innocence of children are something beautiful,’ expresses van Empel. ‘Children are born innocent into a cruel and dangerous world. I wanted to do something with that idea.’



World #1

Dye destruction print, face-mounted and mounted.
150 x 105.5 cm (59 x 41 1/2 in.)
Signed in pencil, printed title, date and number 3/9 on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the mount.

This work is number 3 from the sold-out edition of 9 + 2 APs. This image exists only in this size and edition.

£30,000 - 50,000 ‡♠

Sold for £43,750

Contact Specialist


Rachel Peart
Head of Sale, Specialist

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

General Enquiries
+44 20 7318 4092


London Auction 25 September 2020