02 October 2020

Exceptional Large-Scale Andreas Gursky Leads Phillips’ October Photographs Auction


Sale on 14 October to Include Two Unique Works by Robert Mapplethorpe


Afternoon Session to Feature Transcendence: Photography and the Sublime, Photographs from the Peter Fetterman Collection


Andreas Gursky

São Paulo, Sé, 2002

Estimate: $400,000-600,000


NEW YORK – 2 OCTOBER 2020 – Phillips’ upcoming Photographs auction on 14 October will offer 269 works that span the 20th century. Among the sale highlights are works by Andreas Gursky, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Marclay, Robert Frank, Irving Penn, and Edward Weston. The sale will also feature Transcendence: Photography and the Sublime, a group of 60 photographs from the Peter Fetterman Collection.


Leading the auction is Andreas Gursky’s São Paulo, Sé, 2002, which, like many of his best works, examines the collective behavior of the masses and is presented here in a monumental large-scale print. Of the 6 prints in the edition, two are held in museum collections: one in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and one in The Broad, Los Angeles. This is the first time the image has appeared at auction. Also from the Düsseldorf School is Candida Höfer’s Pierpont Morgan Library New York IV, 2001.

Further highlighting the auction is Robert Mapplethorpe’s unique triptych of legendary gallerist and collector Holly Solomon, who launched the young photographer into the New York art world. Mapplethorpe portrayed Solomon in a sequence of three images, each printed in different sizes, with the triptych progressing from the horizontal rectangle of the first photograph to the square of the final one. The sequence of three prints is housed within a frame of Mapplethorpe’s design, creating a unique work that holds its own with portraits of Solomon by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and other leading artists of the day. This is one of two unique works by Mapplethorpe on offer, the other of which is an oversized print of Roses, 1987.




Christian Marclay

Untitled (photogram), 2004

Estimate: $30,000-50,000


Contemporary works serve as both catalogue covers with Herb Ritts’s Versace, Veiled Dress, El Mirage, 1990, as the front and Christian Marclay’s Untitled (photogram), 2004, as the back. The color variations on the hand and record in Marclay’s unique photogram suggest a movement that encapsulates his integration of audio and visual elements throughout his career. Additional contemporary works on offer include Louise Lawler’s Woman with Picasso, 1986, Gregory Crewdson’s Untitled, 2001, from his series Twilight, three works by Vik Muniz, including Grey Marilyn from Pictures of Diamond Dust, 2003, Andres Serrano’s notorious Piss Light, 1987, and works by Sally Mann, Peter Beard, among many others.



Edward Weston

Chard, 1927

Estimate: $80,000-120,000


Several early 20th century works feature prominently in the auction, including Edward Weston’s Chard, 1927. Like the nautilus shells Weston photographed contemporaneously, and the pepper studies that would follow, the subject in this image is presented both as itself and as a totem for Modernism. This print was acquired from Weston by a mid-western family in 1927 and is inscribed to their daughter, Rosemary. It has remained in the family since that time. It is believed that only one other print of this image has appeared at auction. Another highlight from this era of the medium includes László Moholy-Nagy’s Fotogramm, 1929.


Five works by Irving Penn, which span the photographer’s decades-long career, are included in the auction. The works include Fishmonger, London and Patissiers, Paris from his 1950 Small Trades series, Sitting Nude Rear, New York, 1993, which is appearing at auction for the first time, and Miles Davis, Hand on Trumpet, New York, 1986, one of Penn’s highly sought-after photographs of the jazz legend.


Collectors will have the opportunity to acquire a strong selection of works by Robert Frank including his iconic Covered Car—Long Beach, California, 1956, Street Line, 34th Street, New York City, 1948, and five other prints. Also included in the sale is W. Eugene Smith’s Tomoko Uemura Being Bathed by her Mother, Minamata, 1971-1973, which is inscribed to Smith’s dealer Lee Witkin, along with Diane Arbus’s Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, 1963, and two early prints by Weegee, one of which is an atypically sensual abstraction.


Transcendence: Photography and the Sublime


Ansel Adams

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

Estimate: $30,000-50,000

Phillips is pleased to present Transcendence: Photography and the Sublime, a selection of 60 photographs from the renowned collection of Peter Fetterman. The photographs in Transcendence were assembled with care and discernment by gallerist and collector Peter Fetterman when he found himself increasingly gravitating towards images of nature and pure beauty. At the center of this collection is Ansel Adams, who served as a colleague or a mentor to most of the artists represented in this group, including Imogen Cunningham, Minor White, Sebastião Salgado, Wynn Bullock, Brett Weston, and Paul Caponigro.


Transcendence is a collection premised upon the belief that photography can transcend mere documentation to reveal a richer and deeper understanding of both the visible world and the human spirit. The photographs in this collection prove that the medium is both rooted in the material world yet is an instrument of the eye, mind, and imagination of the photographer.


Additional Highlights             

Peter Beard

Hunting Cheetahs on the Taru desert/for the End of the Game/Last Word from Paradise, 1960

Estimate: $15,000-25,000



Candida Höfer

Pierpont Morgan Library New York IV, 2001

Estimate: $50,000-70,000

László Moholy-Nagy

Fotogramm, 1929

Estimate: $80,000-120,000


Herb Ritts

Versace, Veiled Dress, El Mirage, 1990

Estimate: $40,000-60,000


Robert Frank

Covered Car – Long Beach, California, 1956

Estimate: $70,000-90,000


Auction: 14 October 2020

Click here for more information: https://www.phillips.com/auctions/auction/NY040220





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. Visit www.phillips.com for further information.

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


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