Phillips Southampton continues to lift the community cultural bar, presenting two floors of top tier art year-round in the heart of Main Street. This weekend, we escaped the blustery cold to browse their photography presale highlights, which will be on view here through Sunday, March 21. From haunting Robert Frank depictions of Mid Century Americana to the operatic wall-sized Candida Hofer, Palais Garnier Paris to the Warhol photo gallery pop portrait of Holly Solomon, there is something for everyone.
“There is a wide range of how photographers use photography today and how photographers have been using photography for decades,” Caroline Deck, Phillips Senior Photographs Specialist, told us. “Warhol would use them as source material for his portraits. Gerhard Richter also often starts with photographs as a source for his paintings. In this sale we have him combining the two with his overpainted photographs. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photographs of architecture and nature have a metaphysical element while Candida Hofer captures architecture in a straightforward, almost documentarian manner. So, the breadth and scope of the medium is on view in this sale.”
There is also a great breadth in the price range. A 20 x 24 inch print of Richard Avedon’s iconic Dovima with elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, August 1955, what Deck calls ” “the grande dame of fashion photography,” is valued between $150,000-$250,000. But, you can grab a Saul Leiter (a pioneer of color photography from the New York School), for $8,000-$10,000.
One of several masterpieces for sale by Robert Frank is Trolley—New Orleans, 1955, an outsider’s look through the trolley windows: white riders in the front, black riders in the back, children in the middle, valued at $150,000 – $250,000. “Frank is one of the most influential figures in this history of the medium,” Deck continued. His 1958 book, The Americans, has a written introduction by Jack Kerouac. “It’s an example of how the themes Frank was addressing in his photographs were similar to those being explored by writers, painters and other artists of the time,” Deck said.
Another highly valued piece is Three Flags by contemporary photographer and mixed-media artist Vik Muniz, who repurposes magazine photos and mixed media to represent art icons, here ala Jasper Johns. “His ability to see visions when assembling these little cutouts is quite wonderful,” said Deck. “This is a nice size piece in the $30,000-$50,000 range.”
A stunning part of the sale that can be seen in Manhattan at the end of this month, are ten William Eggleston dye transfer Graceland prints. “Eggleston is the grandfather of color photography,” Deck said, “known for elevating everyday color photography to the level of fine art. His was the first color exhibition of color photography at MOMA in 1976. A Memphis native, he took this very well known tourist trap and, rather than create a portfolio with all the images you know, found idiosyncratic, unfamiliar moments throughout the space. They are all captured in this beautiful dye transfer print medium for which he is known.”
The full presale exhibition will open in Phillips Manhattan on Wednesday, March 31. The auction will be held Thursday, April 8.
For more information, visit www.phillips.com.