26 April 2018

Phillips Announces the Inaugural ULTIMATE Evening & Photographs Day Sales 

Highlights include POLAROIDS from The Piero Bisazza Collection
And the Michel and Sally Strauss Contemporary Photography Collection 

To be Offered in London on 18 May 2018

LONDON – 26 APRIL 2018 – This Spring,
Phillips presents the inaugural ULTIMATE Evening & Photographs Day Sales in London, showcasing many of the key moments in the history of photography, and bringing to the fore leading contemporary artists of today. The ULTIMATE Evening Sale is a tightly edited collection of 27 outstanding works, ranging from rare masterpieces to exclusive collaborations, championing such 20th century luminaries as Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton and Irving Penn. POLAROIDS from The Piero Bisazza Collection is featured in both the Evening & Day Sales and includes unique Polaroid prints by Andy Warhol and Nobuyoshi Araki. The Photographs Day Sale is highlighted by the Michel and Sally Strauss Contemporary Photography Collection, as well as exceptional works by Man Ray and Nick Knight. Comprising 172 lots, the ULTIMATE Evening & Photographs Day Sales will take place on 18 May at Phillips London.

Genevieve Janvrin & Yuka Yamaji, Co-Heads of Photographs, Europe,
said, “Building on our considerable success in 2017, we are thrilled to present our first Evening edition of ULTIMATE. Each work in this carefully curated selection of photographs, photo-based works and video is distinctive and has been chosen for its rarity and exclusivity. ULTIMATE offers something special for every collector.”

Leading the ULTIMATE Evening Sale is Helmut Newton’s provocative Panoramic Nude with Gun, Villa d’Este, Como, 1989, the only known extant print of this unpublished variant to date (estimate: £250,000 -
350,000), and a platinum-palladium print of Irving Penn’s iconic Black and White Vogue Cover (Jean Patchett), New York, 1950 (estimate: £200,000 - 300,000). Black and White Vogue Cover (Jean Patchett) is the actual print that was exhibited in Penn’s first international solo exhibition of 1975. A further highlight is Robert Mapplethorpe’s unique, early composition Double Tiger Lily, 1977, which has been in the same collection for two decades and is appearing at auction for the first time (estimate: £150,000 - 250,000). The significance of Double Tiger Lily within Mapplethorpe’s oeuvre is reflected in its impressive exhibition history, having been included in two major retrospectives, both opening in 1988, just before the artist’s death. The first was Robert Mapplethorpe, his maiden US retrospective, which opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The second was Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, the groundbreaking and controversial exhibition that opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and then travelled to six other US cities. 

Also on offer is a monumental composition by Peter Beard, Downwind on the Tiva Lugga, Tsavo North near Kathamula (estimate: £150,000 - 250,000). This was taken in 1965, the same year of Beard’s legendary publication The End of the Game, and features the dry river Tiva in Kenya’s Tsavo region. At the time, Beard was working in Tsavo East National Park, where he witnessed and recorded the tragic die-off of elephants –  the animal most deeply ingrained within The End of the Game. Among the largest compositions created by Beard, the unique work offered here has remained in the same collection since it was originally acquired in 2004 and is appearing at auction for the first time.

ollowing up on the world auction records for Masahisa Fukase and Seiji Kurata set in previous ULTIMATE editions, Phillips continues its celebration of 1970s Japanese photography with exceptional works by three women artists Ishiuchi Miyako, Kunié Sugiura and Tamiko Nishimura. Included is a unique selection of early prints from Ishiuchi Miyako’s seminal Yokosuka Story, 1976-1977 (estimate: £70,000 - 90,000), and Kunié Sugiura’s unique and evocative View from Dakota, 1979, the artist’s most significant work to be presented at auction to date (estimate: £20,000 - 30,000). 

Phillips will also premiere POLAROIDS from The Piero Bisazza Collection, highlights of which are featured in ULTIMATE and include unique Polaroid prints from Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Nobuyoshi Araki and Helmut Newton. Robert Mapplethorpe’s Polaroids are often seen as his entry into photography. The only Polaroid by Mapplethorpe in The Piero Bisazza Collection features Patti Smith, the first person Mapplethorpe photographed and the only person he photographed more than himself. In this work, Patti Smith is partly blurred, caught mid-turn, but her eyes are still, fixed on Mapplethorpe, her soulmate (estimate: £ 10,000 - 15,000).

The Polaroid’s immediacy was well suited to Andy Warhol’s motto, “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” During the 1970s up until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol’s camera of choice for his silkscreen portraits was the Polaroid Big Shot. The Big Shot was perfect for taking portraits and made it easy for Warhol to quickly take multiple shots of his subject. Most of these portraits were done on commission or trade. Both Roy Lichtenstein and Gilbert & George traded their paintings with Warhol for his silkscreen portraits. These 11 Polaroids offer a unique record of the famous faces that populated the world of Andy Warhol, 20th century’s preeminent visual artist, including Debbie Harry, 1980 (estimate £8,000 - 12,000).

Yuka Yamaji, Co-Head of Photographs, Europe,
said, “We are honoured to premiere POLAROIDS from The Piero Bisazza Collection, representing the culmination of nearly 15 years of collecting Polaroids. This Collection presents collectors an exciting opportunity to acquire unique Polaroid prints that provide an intimate and insightful glimpse into the working practices of 20th and 21st century masters.”

In POLAROIDS from The Piero Bisazza 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 the cover of Pola Woman, Arielle for Amica, Milan, 1982, and Bergström over Paris, 1976 (estimate: 8,000-12,000).

The ULTIMATE Evening Sale offers fresh works by several exciting artists debuting at auction, including street style photographer Tommy Ton with his unique polyptych Werk! Qweens, 2017 (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Also debuting is multimedia artist Kim Heewon with his hypnotic video
Someone’s Chandelier, 2013, which runs in real time and to scale (estimate: £15,000-25,000). All of these works are either sold out or unique, presenting an exciting opportunity for collectors internationally. 

Exclusive artist collaborations include Mika Ninagawa’s unique, site-specific installation earthly flowers, heavenly colors, executed 2018 (estimate: £30,000 - 50,000).

Friday, 18 May 2018, Time
Auction viewing: 10 – 18 May
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.

www.phillips.com for further information.

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

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