Sotheby's Fall Photograph Sale to be Held October 14-15, 2008 Sotheby's fall Photographs sale in New York on October 14-15th will feature seminal photographs from both the 19th and 20th centuries, many extremely rare
between 1977 and 1980. The series took as its starting point
the many female stereotypes of popular culture, including those
found in B-movies, magazine pin-ups, and film noir. Never
named or identified, Sherman’s heroines are nevertheless vaguely recognizable and therefore invite viewers to construct
their own narratives. Nearly three decades later, the series remains Sherman’s most significant body of work.
Irving Penn’s Asaro Mudmen (pictured, est. $250/350,000) is
among the best-known images from the photographer’s series
Worlds in a Small Room, which took Penn’s unmatched skills to
bear on subject matter far different from the high-fashion models
he more typically photographed. Traveling the world with a
portable studio, he photographed ethnic and cultural groups as
diverse as New Guinea tribesman, San Francisco hippies, Indians
of Cuzco, Peru, and tradespeople from London, Paris and New
York. The present image is the lead image in the New Guinea
section of Penn’s book, and comes from the collection of the
photographer Michael O’Neill, who purchased it from the first
large-scale public offering of Penn’s platinum work at the Marlborough Gallery in 1977.
Also on offer is a photograph from one of Richard Prince’s most important bodies of work, the Girlfriend series
(pictured, est. $200/300,000). For this series, Prince
trained his iconoclastic eye on motorcycle culture, rephotographing
amateur snapshots from biker magazines, and
enlarging them to an imposing size.
Other contemporary highlights include Lee Friedlander’s New
York City/Shadow on Fur Collar (est. $35/50,000), a gift
from the photographer to Alan Distler, a personal friend; an
early large-format print of Richard Avedon’s most celebrated fashion image, Dovima with Elephants (est.
$100/150,000); and several Diane Arbus photographs, among them early prints of A Young Man in Curlers at
Home on West 20th Street, NYC (est. $100/200,000) and Four People at a Gallery Opening, NYC (est.
* * *
* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
Notes for Editors:
Sotheby’s is the undisputed leader in the auction market for fine-art photographs, with regular twice-yearly sales in New York and London as well
as occasional sales in Paris. Sotheby's was the first international auction house to instigate regular sales of photographs at auction, beginning in
1971 in London, and in 1975 in New York. In 2006 Edward Steichen’s The Pond – Moonlight sold at Sotheby’s New York for $2,928,000,
becoming the first classic photograph to break both the $1 million and $2 million marks at auction. Under the direction of Denise Bethel and
Christopher Mahoney, Sotheby’s has offered numerous important single-owner collections, among them: Important Photographs from the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Including Works from the Gilman Paper Company Collection, which totaled $14.9 million in 2006 and remains the
record for a single-owner sale of photographs in New York; The Quillan Collection of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Photographs, which
achieved $8.9 million in 2008; and Photographs from the Private Collection of Margaret W. Weston, which brought $7.9 million in 2007.