05 September 2019

Phillips to Offer  

World View: Property from a Private Collection

in the New York Photographs Auction on 1 October


Featuring Works by Robert Frank, Dave Heath, André Kertész,

Helmut Newton, Edward Burtynsky and Robert Polidori, Among Others

NEW YORK – 5 SEPTEMBER 2019 – Phillips is pleased to announce the sale of World View: Property from a Private Collection as a highlight of the fall sale season. To be included in the New York Photographs auction on 1 October, World View was formed over the course of twenty years and includes images encapsulating the human experience. This dynamic collection includes a wide-ranging group of photographs which, when combined, display the remarkable diversity of photography in the 20th and 21st centuries.

 Vanessa Hallett, Deputy Chairwoman, Americas, and Worldwide Head of Photographs, said, “From New York City to Long Beach, and from Paris to Bangkok, World View brings together images from across the globe. The collection is full of visual and cultural juxtapositions that address universal themes and experiences, bringing together a group of photographs unified by a sense of humanity and the medium’s expressive power.”

Among the highlights of World View is Robert Frank’s Covered Car— Long Beach, California, 1955-1956, which exemplifies the photographer’s long-held fascination with the American automobile, a recurring motif throughout his seminal book, The Americans. Of his many depictions of cars, this is perhaps Frank’s most iconic image, albeit one in which the car is hidden by its protective cover. The tonal values of this photograph, ranging from the shimmering white of the cover’s fabric to the absolute black of the shadows, give the image an otherworldly, almost Surreal, quality.

Dave Heath’s Maquette for Contemporary Photographer, 1963, is comprised of twenty-one prints on twelve mounts, which were provided by Heath to Contemporary Photographer  magazine for publication in their Winter 1964 issue. Heath’s layout of the photographs is meticulous, as is the sequencing, and the group gives insight into Heath’s talents, not only as a photographer and printer, but as an editor and designer.  In the suite offered here, Heath creates a poetic, non-linear photographic narrative that includes a number of his best-known images. This maquette, and its appearance in Contemporary Photographer, predates Heath’s seminal first book, A Dialogue With Solitude, published in 1965. 

Another unique group of prints in World View  is the 1974 André Kertész Guggenheim Set, comprising ten photographs submitted by the photographer with his application for the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. On the strength of the images in this lot, Kertész was awarded the sum of $15,000 in 1974. The images were all taken shortly after his 1936 arrival in New York from Paris. This early New York work shows Kertész absorbing his new surroundings and performing the photographic alchemy that was uniquely his. Further classic highlights include a solarized Man Ray portrait (illustrated page 3) from his time in Los Angeles in the 1940s, and Edward Steichen’s portrait of Joan Crawford, estimated at $20,000-30,000.


Among over forty lots on offer in this dedicated single-owner section of the auction are additional works by classic and contemporary masters alike, including three Polaroids by Helmut Newton, ranging from $8,000-12,000 up to $20,000-30,000 (one illustrated page 3), two prints by Robert Polidori from his Versailles series (one illustrated page 3), and three lots by Edward Burtynsky, who has devoted his career to documenting human impact upon the planet, including his impressively sized Shipyard #1, Qili Port, Zhejiang Province, China, 2014. Burtynsky approaches his subjects armed with in-depth research and then exploits photography’s unique ability to capture extreme detail so that no aspect of his subject goes unrecorded. A master technician, Burtynsky produces large format prints, such as Shipyard, that contain more information than the human eye can process at once. Other photographers featured include Hiroshi Sugimoto, Brassaï, Lisette Model, Nicholas Nixon, and many others.