Wassertüme (Trichter) by Bernd and Hilla Becher achieved the highest price of the sale, soaring to €411,000 against an estimate of €60,000-80,000. This unique and exceptional set of nine vintage silver prints of water towers is a tribute to the artists’ ground-breaking art practice which alternately influenced conceptual and minimalist art. Created in 1972 and acquired in the same year from the Konrad Fischer gallery – the first year of their lifetime collaboration with Illeana Sonnabend and the year of Carl Andre’s seminal article ‘Note on Bernd and Hilla Becher’ in Artforum, these water towers are of a paramount importance in understanding the Becher’s evolution towards the radical simplicity of their later years. Furthermore, these magnificent industrial scenes from France were made in the year of the couple’s first participation at ‘documenta 5’ in Cassel.
The Photographies sale in Paris promises a remarkable array of unique and rare works. Alongside works from masters of the genre including Man Ray, Erwin Blumenfeld and Helmut Newton are the highly anticipated lots Diane Arbus’ Identical twins, Richard Avedon’s portraits from the series In the American West, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Barragan House from his acclaimed Architecture series, and a unique work by Bernd and Hilla Becher composed of 9 vintage photographs from the Water Towers series. These undisputed masterpieces all bring a very specific and individual offering to the history of Photography; from sociological studies to portraiture through to conceptual observations, one will discover works that will satisfy the tastes of both the seasoned collector and the budding connoisseur.