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    112 268 Sold

  • 0—192 000 000 USD
  • 30 Oct 1989—10 Oct 2017
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Calla lilies

Solarized, signed in ink on the image, 'Fiori,' date, and numerical notations in pencil on the reverse, 1931 Man Ray’s now-iconic study of a profusion of calla lilies, in which the flowers are transformed and electrified by solarization, demonstrates the photographer’s unfailingly experimental approach to his medium.  Once in the collection of Andy Warhol, this rare early print links two of the great artists of the twentieth century.  This image owes its striking appearance to the photographer’s masterful handling of the darkroom technique of solarization.  Like the photogram—which Man Ray adopted and made his own—solarization is simple in principle but difficult to master.  To solarize a photograph, the print is exposed to light during development.  The duration and intensity of the light, as well as the stage of development during which the light is introduced, impact the final appearance of the print.  Solarization’s effects include a selective reversal and/or intensification of tones.  In Calla Lilies, Man Ray has employed the technique to create deep black outlines, accentuating the stems and the iridescent positive/negative modulation of tones in the blossoms.  The technique elevates an already elegant image into a Surreal account of its subjects.  Of solarization, Man Ray said ‘the technique enabled me to get away from photography, to get away from banality, what I seek above all is to escape from banality, and here was a chance to produce a photograph that would not look like a photograph’ (quoted in Schwarz, p. 282). This print was owned originally by Andy Warhol and was sold in these rooms in the historic auction of his collection in 1988.  Warhol was well-known as an admirer of Man Ray, and built a significant collection of his photographs, paintings, drawings, and objects.  The Sotheby’s auction of Warhol’s collection featured more works by Man Ray than by any other single artist.  In 1973, the two artists met in Man Ray’s Paris studio, where Warhol photographed Man Ray for a portrait commission initiated by the young Italian dealer Luciano Anselmino.  Anselmino, a great champion of Man Ray and the publisher of his First Steps portfolio in 1972, had been introduced to Warhol by Alexandre Iolas, one of Warhol’s dealers.  During the session in Paris, Warhol took a series of Polaroids of Man Ray.  One of these images was used by Warhol as the template for a series of painted portraits of the photographer, in a variety of formats, paid for by Anselmino and debuted in Iolas’s gallery in Milan in 1974 (cf. The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings and Sculptures 1970-1974, Vol. 3, pp. 386-99). Calla Lilies was included by Man Ray in his first monograph, the seminal Photographs by Man Ray 1920 Paris 1934, funded and published by the collector James Thrall Soby.  As of this writing, only three other early prints of this image have been located in institutional collections: The Museum of Modern Art, a gift of James Thrall Soby; the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the print used for the 1934 book; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, originally from the collection of Arnold Crane. Andy Warhol may have acquired this photograph from Alexandre Iolas or Luciano Anselmino.  Many of Warhol’s Man Ray pieces were purchased from Iolas, and Calla Lilies was illustrated in the dealer’s 1974 catalogue of Man Ray’s work.  The Italian ‘Fiori’ on the reverse of this print suggests that it may also been handled by Anselmino. This very print appears to be the one reproduced in the catalogue for the 1973 Man Ray Opere 1914-1973 exhibition in Rome, which was organized with the assistance of Anselmino.

  • USAUSA
  • 2013-04-06
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Untitled (rayograph with shapes of a vase and flowers)

Unique Rayograph, signed and dated ‘1926’ by the photographer in pencil and then oversigned in yellow-green pencil or ink on the image, the directional notation ‘Top’ and a diagrammatic arrow inscribed by the photographer in pencil and with his ‘Original’ stamp on the reverse, matted, framed, 1926 This large Rayograph is one of three unique works created by Man Ray during a single darkroom session.  Each of the three measures roughly 12 by 16 inches, and uses as its source subject matter a mesh screen, wood shavings, and a rope or string.  Using these basic, and somewhat abstracted, objects, Man Ray here employs his distinct photogram process to create whimsical drawings on photographic paper.  His Rayographs of the 1920s were, in fact, as he himself noted, the only drawings he made during that decade. In the Rayograph offered here, dated 1926, Man Ray places a vertical length of folded mesh screen at the center, and the shavings explode into full bloom out of the top of the mesh funnel.  A zig-zag wire cups the wild swirl of shavings.  Adding to the picture’s dynamism, Man Ray completes the composition using rope or string to create playful, looping swirls.  The two variant Rayographs utilizing these same objects are in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (for a reproduction of one, cf. Getty, In Focus: Man Ray, pl. 19).  These Getty Rayographs are both dated 1924, suggesting that the three photograms were all created in either 1924 or 1926.  These Getty variants came originally from the collection of Arnold Crane, who acquired them directly from Man Ray. The Rayograph offered here was among seven Rayographs included in the exhibition Diogenes with a Camera II, curated by Edward Steichen and held at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, from November 1952 to March 1953.  (In Man Ray’s 1952 correspondence with his family, the photographer comments on a recent visit with Steichen in Paris.)  An installation view of the exhibition shows the seven Rayographs hung together, accompanied by the text of Man Ray’s 1950 essay, “Photographic Reflections.”  In this installation view, the orientation of the Rayograph offered here is inverted.  This alternate presentation of the Rayograph may indicate that Steichen preferred the inverted orientation, and as was his wont, hung it according to his own personal preference; or it may indicate that the work, at that time, had not been annotated with directional arrows by Man Ray, or had not been signed and dated in the lower right corner, recto, as it is at present.  This would not have been unusual, for Man Ray frequently signed and dated his Rayographs as they were gifted or sold, years after their making.   A signing and dating of the photogram by Man Ray at a later time would also explain the discrepancy between the date of the present Rayograph and the two related photograms in the Getty Museum, suggesting that the present Rayograph may in fact date to 1924. Sotheby’s thanks Man Ray Rayograph scholar Steven Manford for the research and insights presented here.

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-04-27
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Rome, 1847

AMÉLIE GUILLOT-SAGUEZ (1810-1864) Rome, 1847 Exceptionnel et inédit Album comprenant 37 épreuves sur papier salé dont 5 signées ‘Photographe A. Guillot-Saguez Rome 1847’ à l'encre (sur l'image) et 7 signées et datées (dans l’image). Chaque image est légendée au crayon sur la feuille. Album portant un titre et une dédicace à l’encre en première page 'Rome - Souvenir à Madame L des Bordes’. Dédicace à l’encre sur une feuille libre : "Voici ma bien bonne amie, l’album que vous avez désiré. Toutes les épreuves ne sont pas aussi parfaites que j’aurais aimé à vous les donner. Vous savez qu’elles ont été prises à Rome et que nous n’avions pas la machine qui convient pour faire les vues. (Excepté l’académie, on nous en a prêté une ce jour là). Mais tel qu’est cet album, Veuillez l’accueillir avec notre indulgence accoutumée et vous rappeler que le cœur qui vous l’offre à l’occasion donnerait pour vous sa vie." In-8 oblong, reliure de l’époque (222 x 301 x 10 mm), maroquin aubergine à long grain, plats ornés d’un encadrement doré et à froid avec fleuron central avec initiales R.B. au centre du premier plat, tranches dorées album 22.2 x 30 x 1 cm. (8 ¾ x 11 7/8 x 0 3/8 in.) chaque image env. 12.5 x 17 cm. (4 7/8 x 6 ¾ in.) à l’exception de 3 épreuves de formats 21.6 x 16.2 et 25 x 19.5 cm. (8 ½ x 6 3/8 & 9 7/8 x 7 5/8 in.) ill.1 Portique de l’Académie de France Villa Medici ill.2 Porta Maggiore ill.3 Eglise de Santa Maria in Cosmedin dite Bocca della Verita ill.4 Amphithéatre Flavius dit le Colysée ill.5 Ruines du Temple d’Antonin et Faustine ill.6 Temple de la Fortune Virile maison du Tribun Rienzi ill.7 Cour du Cloître de San Pietro in Vincoli Puits construit par Michel Ange ill.8 Villa Borghese ill.9 San Pietro E Il Vaticano ill.10 Ambon (Style Byzantin) dans l’antique basilique de S. Lorenzo hors les murs ill.11 Le Tibre à Ripetta Dome de l’Eglise San Carolo dans le fond l’Academie de France ill.12 Torre detta di Cesare Borgia ill.13 Le Moïse de Michel Ange – Statue exécutée sur le tombeau du Pape Jules II (Eglise de S. Pietro in Vincoli) ill.14 Chanoines du Chapitre de St. Jean de Latran (Cloître de San Pietro in Vincoli) ill.15 Colysée pris interieurement ill.16 Casino di Raffaello nella Villa Borghese ill.17 Arc de Constantin près du Colysée ill.18 Le Forum, Temple de Jupiter Stator ill.19 Château St Ange St Pierre ill.20 Le Piefferaro Benedetto (modèle) ill.21 Borghettano. Frontière du Royaume de Naples et des états romains ill.22 La Giovanna Borghettana, frontière du Roy de Naples et des états romains ill.23 Benedetto Paysan des montagnes ill.24 Reproducton Photographique fragment d’une gravure ill.25 Fac simile photographique d’un dessin à la plume de Raphaël ill.26 Colonne antique sur la place Ste Marie Majeure ill.27 Le Pont de Ripetta ill.28 Non titré ill.29 Temple de Vesta sur le Tibre et dans le fond le Mont Palatin et les ruines du Palais des Césars ill.30 Jardin d’orangers sur le Tibre Autrefois Propriété de la famille de Béatrice Cenci ill.31 Non titré ill.32 Non titré ill.33 Fontana della Tartarughe ill.34 Colonne de Phocas Eglise et Dôme de l’Académie de St Luc Arc de Septime Sevère ill.35 Fragment de la Fontaine de Trevi ill.36 Porta Maggiore ill.37 l’Academie de France Villa Medici

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-11-10
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'scene shifter'

Platinum print, with gouache highlights, signed by the photographer in pencil on the reverse, tipped to a large tan mount, signed, dated, and titled (erased) by the photographer in pencil on the mount, matted, 1921 This enigmatic and little-known Edward Weston photograph may have as its model one of the photographer’s friends or acquaintances from the theatrical circles frequented by Weston and Margrethe Mather in Los Angeles’s early Hollywood days.  Or, as with other Weston pictorialist studies, the title may have little to do with the ostensible subject, but rather is applied to a posed tableau in the photographer’s Glendale studio.  Conger 56 points out that the 'Scene Shifter' relates to a study of Betty Brandner moving stage flats, a picture now in the collection of The J. Paul Getty Museum (reproduced in Weston Naef and Susan Danley’s Edward Weston in Los Angeles, San Marino, 1986, pl. 3).   Whatever its basis in fact, the photograph remains a striking study in tone and shadow.  The deep shadows are offset by the gouache highlights on the model’s shirt; the intersecting angles of the shadows, the ladder, and the bending model give the whole a kinetic energy.  As with the Mather Pierrot study in Lot 18, the 'Scene Shifter' belongs to a whole group of photographs by Mather, Weston, and their contemporaries in which shadows play a major compositional role.  Arthur F. Kales, another California pictorialist who created even more exaggerated shadows in his pictures, frequently used actual movie sets as backdrops, with costumed dancers and actresses as his models.  One suspects that despite its theatrical title, the Weston study offered here has more to do with form than with the theatre.  Conger posits that this may be ‘the first surviving abstract composition by Weston.’ The 'Scene Shifter' was one of six photographs Weston sent to the important 1921 Pittsburgh Salon, and remnants of a paper label on the mount’s reverse might indicate that the print offered here is the actual print used in that exhibition.  Of Weston’s 1921 Pittsburgh pictures, the most remembered today is from Weston’s ‘attic series,’ Ramiel in His Attic, which one reviewer termed ‘suggestive of cubist thought’ (American Photography, Volume XV, No. 5, May 1921, p. 226).  Although the attic pictures have taken a lead role in current assessment of the photographer’s oeuvre, the angles and shadows shared by these attic pictures and the 'Scene Shifter' demonstrate variant ways of Weston working on the same themes and compositional problems. At the time of this writing, only one other print of the image offered here has been located, a palladium print in the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson.

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-02-15
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'champs délicieux: album de photographies'

(Paris: [Man Ray], 1922, an edition of 40 numbered copies), a volume containing 12 tipped-in photographs of rayographs by Man Ray, with a printed 3-page preface by Tristan Tzara and colophon signed and numbered '34' by the photographer in ink.  Folio, original red wrappers with yellow printed label Man Ray’s Champs Délicieux is the photographer's defining statement of his early work with the Rayograph, his proprietary name for the photogram.  In Man Ray’s hands, the two-dimensional photogram was given movement, wit, and style, creating images that Jean Cocteau termed 'phantasmagorical.'  Through the use of transparent and opaque objects, and through the shifting of objects during exposure, Rayographs conveyed the illusion of depth and time. They were acclaimed by the Dadaists, who loved the chance quality involved in their production. The title Champs Délicieux was inspired by a volume of automatic writings by the Dadaists-cum-Surrealists André Breton and Philippe Soupault, entitled Les Champs Magnetiques. A seminal publication in the worlds of book art and photography, Champs Délicieux was issued in a very limited edition of 40 numbered copies, in paper wrappers of various colors, including tan, blue-gray, and the red of the present copy. The volume comprises 12 gelatin silver prints of Rayographs tipped to folio paper mounts; each volume was signed and numbered by Man Ray in ink on the colophon. Tristan Tzara, who had been among the first to see Man Ray's Rayograph experiments, contributed the preface, 'La Photographie a l'Envers.' The copy of Champs Délicieux offered here comes originally from the library of James Gilvarry (1914-1984), the bibliophile and art collector.  Born in Brooklyn, Gilvarry was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Columbia University, then later made his living in New York as a partner in a concert management firm. His collecting interests were wide-ranging, from Old Master drawings to detective fiction.  He was keenly interested in Modernism in all forms, both literary and artistic; his special loves were the great Modernists of Irish literature—Joyce, Yeats, and Beckett—and the works of Paul Klee.   An active member of the Grolier Club in New York from 1950 until his death, he curated a number of exhibitions there, among them The Indomitable Irishry, American Illustrated Books 1945-1965, and Marcel Proust and His Friends.  His collection of Klee paintings, watercolors, and drawings was sold at auction in 1984; the sale of his library at auction, two years later, was a landmark event that established world records for several of the authors in his collection.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-04-02
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Steps

Large-format, credited, titled, and dated by the photographer's daughter, Varvara Rodchenko, in pencil and with the Rodchenko/Stepanova collection stamp on the reverse, 1929 The photograph offered here is a large, exhibition-sized print of one of Rodchenko’s most enduring images.  Composed of rhythmic lines that march diagonally across the picture plane, Rodchenko’s image embodies the rigorous photographic Modernism he pioneered.  As is frequently the case with Rodchenko, the picture’s austere aesthetic is warmed by the inclusion of a human element: in this case, a mother carrying her child in her arms and ascending the stairs.  The photograph was an important one for Rodchenko from the time of its making: it was first published in 1929, in the magazine Dajesh, with the alternate title, The Summer Day. Rodchenko included it in his section of the lauded 1935 Exhibition of the Work of the Masters of Soviet Photography in Moscow.  At the time, Rodchenko – like many of his fellow artists and writers – had begun to lose favor with Stalin’s increasingly authoritarian government, and this important exhibition afforded Rodchenko some much needed approbation.  Since his death, Steps has been extensively reproduced and exhibited. Like the famous Odessa Steps passage in Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 film, Battleship Potemkin, Rodchenko’s image has become a touchstone for Russian visual art of the early 20th century. This photograph shows the steps of Moscow’s 19th-century Orthodox Church of the Holy Savior. Like Rodchenko, the church was the victim of the Russian government’s rapidly shifting objectives.  It was razed in the early 1930s to clear the way for construction of the Palace of the Soviets—a project that was never realized.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-09-30
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Photography

This category includes all manner of photographs and prints, from early photographs and historical images to iconic shoots, portraits, and contemporary photographic art. The lots here span the development of both photographic technology, and of photography as an art form, from their invention to the present day.

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