Issue #209  11/5/2014
Modern and Contemporary Photography Auction at Villa Grisebach on November 26th in Berlin
Frantisek Drtikol, "Akt", pigment print
Frantisek Drtikol, "Akt", pigment print

On Wednesday, November 26th at 5:30 pm (Berlin time) over 250 lots of modern and contemporary photography will be auctioned at Villa Grisebach in Berlin.

The majestic "Panorama von Moskau", made up of 16 albumen prints in a decorative leather album, is an unusual example of 19th-century photography that this auction is bringing to the market.

The modern photography selection features two vintage pigment prints by the Czech photographer Frantisek Drtikol, dating from the mid-1920s. Depicting scenes typical of Drtikol's output, "The Movement" and "Akt" work with elements of art deco, the theater and abstraction; only very rarely do works of this quality appear on the market (each estimated at €15,000/25,000).

Two outstanding examples of early 20th-century pictorial photography are in the auction in the form of works by Rudolf Koppitz ("Esche", bromoil transfer print, c. 1912, €15,000/20,000) and Heinrich Kühn ("Pustertalerinnen", bromoil transfer print on Japan paper, 1913-1914, €6,000/8,000).

In his mysterious "Harmonica Riddle" circa 1921, Edward Steichen brings various objects together as still life, using the new possibilities of photography to play with the depiction of both surface and movement (€10,000/15,000).

Further highlights among the modern photographs include seven early contact prints by Josef Sudek from his album "Little Pictures from My Amateur Years", 1914-1917 (€10,000/15,000); Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous "Drum Major" (€7,000/9,000); two vintage prints from the estate of Otto Steinert (each €5,000/7,000); and Irving Penn's "Rockgroups: Big Brother and The Holding Company and The Grateful Dead" of 1967, in a platinum palladium print of 1980 (€10,000/15,000).

The auction will also include works by Andreas Feininger, Florence Henri, Frank Horvat, Edmund Kesting, Dorothea Lange, Peter Keetman, Will McBride, Duane Michals, Jaroslav Rössler and Julius Shulman--among others.

Peter Beard, "Maureen at 2:00 am, Hog Ranch"
Peter Beard, "Maureen at 2:00 am, Hog Ranch"

Highlights from the contemporary photography in the sale include two unique works by Peter Beard, "Maureen at 2:00 am, Hog Ranch" (€20,000/30,000) and "Fayel Tall, El Molo Bay, Lake Rudolf" (€14,000/18,000); Robert Mapplethorpe's "Donald Cann" (€18,000/22,000); Hiroshi Sugimoto's "Sea of Japan Hokkaido II" (€18,000/22,000); as well as further pieces by Daniele Buetti, William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Thomas Höpker, Steve McCurry, Boris Mikhailov, Martin Parr, Judith Joy Ross, Beat Streuli and Tom Wood.

A printed catalogue is available from the auction house, and it can also be viewed on their website at: http://www.villa-grisebach.de/en/catalogues/listview/katalog_uid/230/.

A preview exhibition of selected works from the collection will be held at Villa Grisebach Auktionen GmbH, Fasanenstraße 25, 27 and 73, 10719 Berlin from November 21–25, Fri.-Mon. 10 am-6 pm, Tues., 10 am-5 pm. For details, see http://www.villa-grisebach.de. For more information, contact Franziska Schmidt (head of the photography department), phone: +49 (0)30-885 915-27; fax: +49 30 882 41 45 (from the U.S. dial 011 then the number); or email: f.schmidt@villa-grisebach.de.