Press | Phillips

08 May 2024

Phillips London Photographs Auction to Offer Masterworks by Celebrated Artists, Alongside ULTIMATE and HELMUT NEWTON: PROVOCATEUR


Phillips London Photographs Auction to Offer Masterworks by Celebrated Artists, Alongside ULTIMATE and HELMUT NEWTON: PROVOCATEUR


Sale on 16 May to Include Four Auction Debuts in ULTIMATE



Mario Testino

Kate Moss, London, 2001

Estimate: £60,000 - 80,000


LONDON – 8 MAY 2024 – Phillips is pleased to present highlights from the London Photographs auction on 16 May. The sale is led by Mario Testino’s fresh-to-auction portrait of Kate Moss, and includes pivotal works from luminaries such as Irving Penn, Seiji Kurata, Annie Leibovitz, and Guy Bourdin. The front run of the sale showcases four debuts from auction newcomers as part of the 19th edition of ULTIMATE: Micaiah Carter, David Uzochukwu, Renell Medrano, and Kennedi Carter. A focal point for the auction will be HELMUT NEWTON: PROVOCATEUR Photographs from the Collection of Simon de Pury, a selection of 50 photographs by Helmut Newton from the personal collection of Simon de Pury. The catalogue for the auction is online now with works on view in Phillips London galleries on Berkeley Square from 10 to 16 May. The live auction on 16 May will consist of two sessions: the first at 1pm and the second, featuring the sale of HELMUT NEWTON: PROVOCATEUR, at 4pm.


Yuka Yamaji, Head of Photographs, Europe, and Rachel Peart, Head of Department, London, said, “We are thrilled to introduce our Spring auction in London, featuring Mario Testino's tribute to Kate Moss alongside exceptional works by celebrated photographers such as Irving Penn, Seiji Kurata, and Annie Leibovitz. ULTIMATE's 19th edition offers a curated selection of 10 works available for sale only at Phillips. One of our four auction newcomers is Kennedi Carter who, in 2020 at the age of 21, became the youngest cover photographer in the history of British Vogue. We are honoured that our May sale will also include HELMUT NEWTON: PROVOCATEUR Photographs from the Collection of Simon de Pury. This curation of 50 lots marks an exciting moment for the market as it is the first time such a substantial selection of Helmut Newton’s works from Simon de Pury’s personal collection will be offered at auction. We look forward to welcoming visitors to view the pre-sale exhibition and to attend the sale this May.”


Leading the sale is Mario Testino’s iconic portrait of Kate Moss, taken in 2001 for the cover of the monograph that accompanied his first ever museum retrospective Mario Testino: Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London. For over three decades Testino and Moss have enjoyed an extraordinary friendship, and this image is testimony to both Testino’s artistic brilliance and the enduring trust between two of the world’s most definitive style leaders. Testino's international acclaim and prestigious awards serve as testament to his four decades of invaluable contributions to the medium of photography. The present larger-than-life portrait has been in the same private collection for 18 years and is appearing at auction for the first time.


The 19th edition of ULTIMATE presents a curated selection of 10 fresh-to-market works and features four artists debuting at auction: Micaiah Carter, David Uzochukwu, Renell Medrano, and Kennedi Carter. Alongside these newcomers, ULTIMATE also features exclusive works by Rala Choi, JeeYoung Lee, Maria Svarbova, Sangbin IM, Jung Lee, and Amanda Means.


Micaiah Carter

Adeline in Barrettes, 2018

Estimate: £12,000 - 18,000

David Uzochukwu

Wildfire from In the Wake, 2015

Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000

Renell Medrano

Untitled from PAMPARA, 2019

Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000

Kennedi Carter

When Hands Touch, 2018

Estimate: £8,000 - 12,000


Included in the sale are four works from legendary photographer Irving Penn. The group spans four decades of Penn’s career from the 50s through to the 80s. Leading the group is a photograph of Miles Davis’s left hand. In 1986, Penn embarked on an assignment to photograph the jazz legend for his album Tutu. With art direction by Eiko Ishioka, the resulting album portraits, including the work offered here, remain some of the most timeless portraits of Davis and earned Ishioka the 1987 Grammy Award for Best Album Package.


 Irving Penn

The Palm of Miles Davis, New York, 1986

Estimate: £40,000 - 60,000


Seiji Kurata

Tattooed Man, 1975

Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000

Another highlight of the sale is Japanese photographer Seiji Kurata’s masterwork Tattooed Man. In the summer of 1975, Kurata embarked on a bold exploration of Tokyo's underworld, capturing its essence with his medium-format camera. This photograph, taken on a building rooftop in Ikebukuro, portrays a heavily inked yakuza with a samurai sword. The cover of his acclaimed monograph Flash Up: Street PhotoRandom Tokyo 1975-1979, this image delves into the hidden layers of 1970s Tokyo to reveal the pride and determination of his subject. Kurata's work, including Tattooed Man, has found a place in prestigious institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum and the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, underscoring its enduring significance.



Also featured in the sale are two portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, both of which were captured in 2007 by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, the first American to be invited to take an official portrait of the Queen. Drawing inspiration from classical royal portraiture, Leibovitz skillfully uses post-production techniques to infuse her images with a timeless historical resonance. Both portraits of the Queen featured in this sale were included in the artist’s Master Set, a curated collection of her most important images.


Annie Leibovitz

Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, London, 2007

Estimate: £25,000 - 35,000


A contemporary highlight of the sale is I Walk the Line by Richard Mosse. Using Kodak Aerochrome, a colour infrared film originally developed for military reconnaissance, Mosse photographed the Congo. This choice of film rendered the lush jungle greens and military uniforms of the rebels in lavenders, crimsons, and hot pink, confronting us with an ethereal, otherworldly landscape. A further notable highlight on offer is an oversized edition 1/1 work by Guy Bourdin, whose highly stylised images are instantly recognisable.


Richard Mosse

I Walk the Line, 2012

Estimate: £18,000 - 22,000


Guy Bourdin

Charles Jourdan, Spring 1978

Estimate: £15,000 - 25,000


Auction: 16 May 2024 at 1pm and 4pm

Auction viewing: 10 May - 16 May

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX

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