16 October 2018

Phillips Announces Highlights from November Photographs Auction      

Including Early French Masterworks from the Hyman Collection And POLAROIDS from the Piero Bisazza Collection

To be Offered in London on 1 November 2018


LONDON - 16 OCTOBER 2018 – Phillips’ Photographs sale showcases many of the key moments in the history of photography and brings to the fore leading contemporary artists of today. Available for sale only at Phillips, the 20 lots in this edition of ULTIMATE range from rare masterpieces to sold-out editions and unique collaborations. Leading this curation is Early French Masterworks from the Hyman Collection, featuring rare, important works by the first practitioners of paper photography in France, and an exciting collaboration with Magnum Photos presents exclusive works by Mikhael Subotzky, Cristina de Middel, Alex Majoli, Newsha Tavakolian, and Jérôme Sessini. Following Phillips’ May 2018 offering of POLAROIDS from the Piero Bisazza Collection, which was 100% sold, this sale includes the final presentation from this collection, with unique Polaroid prints by Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol, Nobuyoshi Araki and others. Comprising 120 lots, the Photographs sale will take place on 1 November at Phillips London.


Phillips is honoured to collaborate with Magnum Photos this season, presenting six works exclusive to ULTIMATE by five leading Magnum photographers who are bridging the gap between photojournalism and art. The cover lot of the sale is Mikhael Subotzky’s final smashed work, Self-portrait (with the help of optometrist) R and L from Retinal Shift, 2012, executed 2018. The artist said of this work, “I was taking it back to this personal level – my eyes, my machines for looking, my relationship to representation. It just felt obvious that I would smash that.” Since 2011, Subotzky has selected 42 images for smashing and has made 69 smashed works in total. Making its world premiere this autumn at Phillips London, the present lot will be the final smashed work he will ever produce. Also on offer is Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse’s Windows, Ponte City, 2008-2010, a unique polyptych comprising 84 individually framed photographs (estimate: £60,000-80,000). These two works are accompanied by an in-depth interview with the artists.

A unique triptych exploring our relationship with the unknown, The Afronauts, 2012 by Cristina de Middel is another work to feature in our Magnum collaboration. Further Magnum highlights include Alex Majoli’s monochromatic Scene #1350, 2017, and Newsha Tavakolian’s Untitled from Listen, 2010-2011. One of six imaginary CD covers, Tavakolian’s work was created for Iranian women singers who are not allowed to perform solo or produce their own CDs due to Islamic regulations in place since 1979.


Debuting at auction is Norman Behrendt with Blueprint, a unique composition comprising 175 cyanotypes. Arriving in London in August 2017, Behrendt started exploring the ways in which different media outlets visualise the issues surrounding Brexit. Focusing on videos found on social media and YouTube, Behrendt would screenshot clips, crop these images and then print them as cyanotypes. Displayed on the wall, the entire project measures 312 x 815 cm; Blueprint is accompanied by a custom designed clamshell box, which neatly contains all 175 prints.

The final lot in ULTIMATE is J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s Hairstyles, a unique polyptych of six photographs taken between 1968-1975. For over 30 years, Ojeikere photographed Nigerian women’s hairstyles for all occasions from the everyday to the ceremonial, creating a visual history that both recalled the past and captured the present. For Ojeikere, Hairstyles, conceived at a time when photographers in Africa did not embark on non-commercial projects, was an artistic and ethnographic celebration of Nigerian culture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago and Victoria and Albert Museum hold other works from this series.


As the Latin American photography market unfolds, Phillips is proud to present another high-calibre selection of works by important Latin American artists. Spanning Mexico, Peru and Argentina, these works represent the widely different ways in which these artists respond to the complexities of life in the region. A star lot is San Diego – Tijuana XI, Frontera USA-Mexico, 2015, by Pablo López Luz. In this work, López Luz has captured the US and Mexico border – the busiest land-border crossing in the world – from a unique vantage point, presenting it completely devoid of human presence.

In May 2018, Phillips premiered POLAROIDS from the Piero Bisazza Collection, which was 100% sold. The 21 lots featured in the November sale represent the final presentation from this collection. Polaroids by Helmut Newton consitute the largest number of works by a single artist. Newton started using the Polaroid camera in the 1970s to test lighting conditions and see instantly how a situation would appear photographically. In 1992 he decided to officially position these works within his oeuvre and published Pola Woman, a personal project that showcased his Polaroid prints. The Polaroids in the book were accompanied by Newton’s short captions about the shoot or the model, emphasising his intimate relationship to these images. Many of the Newton Polaroids found in the Piero Bisazza Collection are the actual prints reproduced in Pola Woman. Such examples in the sale include Roxanne, Paris, 1977.

A notable highlight of the Photographs sale is William Eggleston’s Dust Bells Volume II, which remains the last portfolio the artist has compiled. In the late 1960s, Eggleston started experimenting with colour, and his defining 1976 solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art fundamentally shifted how colour photography was viewed, ushering in institutional acceptance and helping to ensure Eggleston’s significant legacy in the history of photography. In 2004, Eggleston published two portfolios: Dust Bells Volume I and Volume II. The deep blues and powerful reds found in Dust Bells Volume II, offered here, is Eggleston at his finest as he attaches a thoughtful significance to everyday objects and actions. Comprising 10 dye-transfer prints depicting life in the South from 1965-1974, this portfolio is appearing at auction for the first time.

The sale offers further exceptional works by Irving Penn, William Klein, Pieter Hugo and Robin Rhode.


Auction: Tuesday, 1 November 2018, 2pm

Auction viewing: 26 October – 1 November

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London

Click here for more information.




Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

PRESS CONTACTS:                        

LONDON - Katie Carder, Head of Press, Europe                                        kcarder@phillips.com                +44 20 7901 7938


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