Auction Preview: Photographs, May 16, 2009 @Phillips London

In the past few weeks, we’ve touched several times on the idea of the democratization of contemporary photography and the positive impact of allowing a wide diversity of work to be pursued and exhibited. The upcoming Photographs sale at Phillips in London is a perfect example of following this trend, of not doing it the same old way, and thereby injecting some fresh excitement into the process.

The sale Phillips has put together is the most international sale I have seen in quite a while. It is a veritable United Nations of photography: work from China and Japan, Germany and Holland, Iran and Scandinavia, Korea and India, Britain and America, and the list goes on and on. There is a small portion of traditional “vintage” work by the recognized masters available, but the sale is generally dominated by contemporary work, most of it in color, some of it from relatively unknown names. Whether this approach maximizes the total proceeds to the house, I’m not sure, but Phillips has certainly created some energy and separated itself with this type of focus. The sale has a total of 170 lots on offer, with a total high estimate of £1462600. (Catalog cover at right.)

Here’s the breakdown:

Total Low Lots (high estimate £5000 and below): 77
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): £262600

Total Mid Lots (high estimate between £5000 and £25000): 87
Total Mid Estimate: £880000

Total High Lots (high estimate above £25000): 6
Total High Estimate: £320000

Here are a few of the images that fit with our collection, and several more that caught our attention even though they don’t match our particular framework:

Lot 5 Ola Kolehmainen, Red with Black and Bulbs, 2004
Lot 13 Stephen Shore, West 9th Avenue, Amarillo, Texas, October 2, 1974
Lot 49 Nobuyoshi Araki, From Close to Range, 1991/Later
Lot 67 Andy Warhol, Untitled (Hairdryer), 1976-1986
Lot 94 Lewis Baltz, Santa Fe, 1973
Lot 97 Susan Derges, River Taw, 1997
Lot 123 Vee Speers, Untitled #30, 2007
Lot 156 Alex Prager, Desiree, 2008

The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.

May 16th

Phillips De Pury & Company
Howick Place
London SW1P 1BB

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