Issue #215  5/7/2015
Modern and Contemporary Photography Goes on Sale at Villa Grisebach Auction in Berlin on June
Karl Blossfeldt: Cotula Coronopifolia, Laugenblume
Karl Blossfeldt: Cotula Coronopifolia, Laugenblume

On Wednesday, June 3, 5:30 pm Berlin time more than 250 works of modern and contemporary photography will be auctioned off at Villa Grisebach in Berlin.

Karl Blossfeldt's pictures of plants, produced in 1915-25 for the Royal Prussian School of Decorative Arts in Berlin, are icons in the history of photography. His "Cotula Coronopifolia, Laugenblume," placed in the image like a sculpture, is on offer as a rare vintage print, hand-printed by the artist (€22,000/32,000).

Another true rarity is the vintage photogram, created circa 1929, by the American photographer, Walker Evans. The ghostlike appearance of a hand reveals a Surrealist influence (€10,000/15,000).

Examples of Pictorialist photography by Heinrich Kühn ("Hans und Lotte auf der Wiese," "Blumenstilleben," each €6,000/8,000) and Edward Weston ("The Hand of E.M.," €6,000/8,000) are represented in the sale together with portraits by Nicholas Nixon ("Brown Sisters," €7,000/9,000), Leni Riefenstahl ("Mick Jagger," €4,000/6,000) and Herb Ritts ("Jack Nicholson II, London," €4,000/6,000).

Landscapes of a seemingly magical appearance are captured in vintage prints by Ellen Auerbach ("Ain-Karim-Palestine," €2,500/3,500), René Burri ("Kung Min-Lake. Summer Palace Beijing," €6,000/8,000) and Herbert List ("Athen, Olympieion", €6,000/8,000).

Eight important vintage prints come from an American private collection. Among these are photographs by Jaromir Funke ("Komposition mit Flasche," circa 1925, €25,000/30,000), Paul Citroen ("Johnson Training again," circa 1923, €5,000/7,000), Yva ("Der Dieb," 1926, €6,000/8,000) and Man Ray ("Adrienne mit Waschbrett," 1938, €10,000/15,000). Works by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Ilse Bing, Brassai, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Imogen Cunningham, Andreas Feininger, Will McBride, Duane Michals, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Werner Rohde, Jaroslav Rössler and Otto Steinert round out the modern photography offerings.

The leading lot in the contemporary photography section is Rineke Dijkstra's large-format portrait of a Portuguese matador, "Villa Franca di Xira, Portugal, May 8" (€30,000/40,000). Further highlights include Bernd and Hilla Becher's "Getreidesilo, Canton, Ohio, USA" (€15,000/20,000), Robert Mapplethorpe's "Melody (Shoe)" (€12,000/16,000) and "Lisa Lyon" (€10,000/15,000) as well as works by Philipp-Lorca diCorcia, Ruud van Empel, Elger Esser, Nan Goldin, Loretta Lux, Sebastiao Salgado, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Wesely and others.

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/238/.

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 May 29-June 2. The auction will be held June 3, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. Berlin time.

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.