LAMA BLOG

Photo Focus: 12 Key Lots in May 17 Auction

May 1, 2015

Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to present significant photography in its upcoming May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction. On offer will be early prints by influential figures in contemporary art.

Paris Photo 2014 took place from the 13th–16th of November at the Grand Palais with 143 galleries (including 34 new participants) and 35 countries represented. Its director, pleased with the quality and energy of the art fair, says it finished with “successful sales and unanimous public and critical acclaim.” MoMA and Tate acquisition committees attended, along with 59,825 visitors. Several artists going to auction at LAMA–Richard Misrach, Nicholas Nixon, Robert Longo, and Cindy Sherman–were also on view in Paris Photo 2014.

The medium has momentum. In 2012 the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a major retrospective of Cindy Sherman’s photographs: Sherman is “undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of our time,” according to Eva Respini, former associate curator of photography at MoMA. LAMA is pleased to offer Lot 246, her Untitled Diptych (Doctor and Nurse). Also on offer: an example (Lot 253) from the first year of Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters series, a portrait project that began in 1975 and is still ongoing. This artist and series has a long history with MoMA, too. The museum showed all 40 portraits in Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of The Brown Sisters, which closed this year on January 4, 2015. Deemed one of photography’s most prolific practitioners and among the United States’ finest, Lee Friedlander was the subject of a comprehensive retrospective at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2008. Lot 255 and Lot 256, two gelatin silver prints by Friedlander, go to auction May 17.

Check out the Los Angeles edition of Paris Photo this weekend. Paris Photo Los Angeles 2015 will take place at Paramount Pictures Studios from May 1-3rd with 80 galleries and art book dealers from 17 countries worldwide.

And coming up later this month, Somerset House in the heart of London presents Photo London, May 21–24, 2015, the city’s first international photography fair featuring 70 leading galleries, an exhibition, and live public program.

To view LAMA’s May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction photographic lots in person, come to the LAMA preview: May 4–16, 2015, daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, or by appointment.

 

Lot 57, David Hockney, Hollywood Tree, c. 1975

Lot 57, David Hockney, Hollywood Tree, c. 1975
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 57: This lot goes to market for the first time, from a private collector who acquired it directly from the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies Charity Auction in 1975. LACPS was first introduced in 1974 as a means to spark creativity and growth in the community through photographic art. By 1976 Hockney returned to LA from sojourns in London and Paris, and began to work extensively with photography.

 

 

Lot 246, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Diptych (Doctor and Nurse), 1980-1987

Lot 246, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Diptych (Doctor and Nurse), 1980-1987
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 246: Cindy Sherman times two, as she poses both as doctor and nurse, keeping in line with strict gender role stereotypes. The artist was shown in major retrospectives at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in 2013; and in 2012 at SFMOMA and MoMA, New York.

 

Lot 248, Chuck Close, Robert, 1998

Lot 248, Chuck Close, Robert, 1998
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 248: This beautiful, detailed photogravure is a heartwarming portrait of artist Robert Rauschenberg. He was a frequent collaborator with ULAE, the esteemed publisher of fine art prints established in West Islip, New York in 1957. On the market for the first time, this lot comes from a private collector who acquired it directly from ULAE.

 

Lot 250, Robert Longo, Untitled (Pl. 17 from Men in the Cities), 2005

Lot 250, Robert Longo, Untitled (Pl. 17 from Men in the Cities), 2005
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 250: Robert Longo threw objects from a rooftop to his friends below and captured their contorted balletic reactions.

Lot 251, Robert Longo, Untitled (Pl. 18 from Men in the Cities), 2005

Lot 251, Robert Longo, Untitled (Pl. 18 from Men in the Cities), 2005
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

Lot 252, Richard Misrach, Untitled (from Desert Cantos Series), c. 1983

Lot 252, Richard Misrach, Untitled (from Desert Cantos Series), c. 1983
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 252: Misrach explores “the beauty, mystery, and abuse of the American desert” in his breathtaking Desert Cantos series. Over the course of two decades, the series now comprises eighteen numbered and named subseries, or cantos, and a prologue.

 

 

Lot 253, Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1975

Lot 253, Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1975
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 253: Nicholas Nixon is known for intimate portraiture and documentary photography using large format (8 x 10 inch and 11 x 14 inch) view cameras to capture his subjects with meticulous detail. His best-known work is The Brown Sisters: a series of black-and-white portraits of his wife Bebe and her three sisters that he has taken each year since 1975. Sets of Nixon’s The Brown Sisters series are in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Lot 254, Nicholas Nixon, Cambridge, 1986

Lot 254, Nicholas Nixon, Cambridge, 1986
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

Lot 255, Lee Friedlander, New York City, 1966; this example printed 1978

Lot 255, Lee Friedlander, New York City, 1966; this example printed 1978
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 255: Lee Friedlander trained his eye on the everyday–to capture distinctly American scenes and images. “His style is inflected by a sharp wit and sense of humor, frequently taking advantage of elements considered by most to be obstacles, including his own shadow or reflection.” This was the lead promotional image used for SFMOMA’s Friedlander retrospective in 2008.

Lot 256, Lee Friedlander, Chicago, 1967; this example printed 1970

Lot 256, Lee Friedlander, Chicago, 1967; this example printed 1970
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

Lot 257 William Wegman, Knot, 1990

Lot 257 William Wegman, Knot, 1990
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 257: Wegman’s breakthrough with his Weimaraner dog came after he moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s and picked up a dog on the cheap. He called him Man Ray.

Lot 259 William Wegman Legged Creature 1988

Lot 259, William Wegman, Legged Creature, 1988
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 259: Is this Fay Wray? After Wegman’s first Weimaner dog died, he was gifted a female puppy in 1985, whom he named after the star of “King Kong.”

 

Lot Information:

Lot 57
David Hockney
Hollywood Tree
c. 1975
Gelatin silver print
Signed and titled in ink upper center sheet
Image/sheet: 4.5″ x 6.5″; Frame: 15″ x 12″
Provenance: Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies Charity Auction, 1975)
Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000

Lot 246
Cindy Sherman
Untitled Diptych (Doctor and Nurse)
1980-1987
Gelatin silver print diptych on semi-gloss double weight photo paper
#55 of 125
Each signed and dated with edition verso
Images (vis.) each: 8.5″ x 6.75″; Frame: 16.5″ x 20.5″
Literature: Respini, Eva. Cindy Sherman. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012. 21, #10.
Estimate: $8,000 – 12,000

Lot 248
Chuck Close
Robert
1998
Published and printed by ULAE, West Islip, to benefit The Lab School of Washington
Photogravure on Lana Gravure paper
#4 of 48
Signed lower center in graphite; dated lower right; edition lower left with ULAE blind stamp
Image: 20.625″ x 17″; Sheet: 28.5″ x 24″; Frame: 32.75″ x 28.5″
Provenance: Private Collection, California (acquired directly from ULAE, West Islip, New York)
Auction: 5/17/2015
Estimate: $2,000 – 3,000

Lot 250:
Robert Longo
Untitled (Pl. 17 from Men in the Cities)
2005
Published by Adamson Editions, Washington, D.C.
Archival pigment print on Crane Portfolio Rag paper
#8 of 15
Signed and dated in graphite lower right image; edition lower left image
Image: 39.75″ x 26.25″; Sheet: 44″ x 30″; Frame: 47.5″ x 34.125″
Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000

Lot 251
Robert Longo
Untitled (Pl. 18 from Men in the Cities)
2005
Published by Adamson Editions, Washington, D.C.
Archival pigment print on Crane Portfolio Rag paper
#8 of 15
Signed and dated in graphite lower right image; edition lower left image
Image: 39.75″ x 26.25″; Sheet: 44″ x 30″; Frame: 47.5″ x 34.125″
Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000

Lot 252
Richard Misrach
Untitled (from Desert Cantos Series)
c. 1983
Chromogenic print
Sheet (vis.): 18″ x 22.25″; Frame: 24″ x 29.5″
Estimate: $2,000 – 3,000

Lot 253
Nicholas Nixon
The Brown Sisters, New Canaan, Connecticut
1975
Gelatin silver print on Kodak paper
Signed, dated, and inscribed in graphite “Heather Brown McCann, Mimi Brown, Bebe Brown Nixon, Laurie Brown New Canaan, Conn. 1975 Nicholas Nixon” verso
Image: 7.625″ x 9.625″; Sheet: 8″ x 10″; Frame: 16″ x 20″
Provenance: Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the artist); Thence by descent
Literature: Nicholas Nixon: The Brown Sisters. Abrams/The Museum of Modern Art: New York, 1999. N. pag.
Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000

Lot 254
Nicholas Nixon
Cambridge
1986
Gelatin silver print
Signed, titled, dated, and inscribed in graphite “Cambridge 1986 (8) Nicholas Nixon” verso
Image: 7.75″ x 9.75″; Sheet: 8″ x 10″; Frame: 14″ x 16″
Estimate: $1,000 – 2,000

Lot 255
Lee Friedlander
New York City
1966; this example printed 1978
Gelatin silver print
Signed in graphite and dated with copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp verso
Image: 7.5″ x 11″; Sheet: 11″ x 14″; Frame: 14″ x 17.5″
Literature: Friedlander, Lee, and Rod Slemmons. Like a One-Eyed Cat: Photographs by Lee Friedlander, 1956-1987. New York: Abrams, 1989. Pl. 20.
Estimate: $3,000 – 5,000

Lot 256
Lee Friedlanderx
Chicago
1967; this example printed 1970
Gelatin silver print
Signed and titled in graphite and dated with copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp verso
Image: 7.5″ x 11″; Sheet: 11″ x 14″; Frame: 14″ x 17.5″
Estimate: $3,000 – 5,000

Lot 257
William Wegman
Knot
1990
Polaroid Polacolor II photograph
Titled in ink lower center sheet; signed and dated lower right
Together with Linda Cathcart Gallery label
Frame: 29.25″ x 22.25″
Provenance: Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from Linda Cathcart Gallery, Santa Monica, California); Thence by descent
Estimate: $4,000 – 6,000

Lot 259
William Wegman
Legged Creature
1988
Polaroid Polacolor II photograph
Signed and dated in ink lower right sheet; titled lower center; retains Janss Collection and Linda Cathcart Gallery labels verso
Sheet (vis.): 26.25″ x 21.5″; Frame: 32″ x 27″
Provenance: Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from Linda Cathcart Gallery, Santa Monica, California); Thence by descent
Estimate: $4,000 – 6,000

 

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