Christopher Mahoney, Head of Sotheby’s Photographs Department and the auctioneer commented: “We were thrilled to see our cover lot, Lee Friedlander’s The Little Screens Series, which beautifully captured the growing ubiquity of television in American life, fetch $850,000, several times both the estimate and previous record for the artist. Our April sale total of $5,166,875 was towards the high end of our pre-sale expectations and a comfortable increase on the equivalent sale last year. The Brown Sisters Series by Nicholas Nixon, one of the most remarkable continuing photographic series of the 20th and 21st centuries, also exceeded the estimate to sell for $370,000. Modernism was particularly sought after with László Moholy-Nagy’s Positive And Negative Photogram Pair selling for $334,000, Notre Dame de Paris by Pierre Dubreuil achieving $200,000, and Fred Briehl's Barn by Paul Strand fetching $137,500. Collectors also responded with enthusiasm to Property from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Spencer D. Stone, including Edward Weston’s Church, Motherlode which doubled the high estimate to sell for $125,000.”
Sotheby’s April 1st auction in New York sets forth a strong offering of photographs ranging from the 19th Century, to Modernism, to Post-War work by many masters of the medium. Leading the sale is Paul Strand’s Rebecca, a unique print rendered in platinum. A complete-to-date suite of Nicholas Nixon’s extended portrait series of The Brown Sisters includes 40 photographs taken yearly between 1975 and 2014. Lee Friedlander’s iconic The Little Screens series is presented in a selection of 38 photographs. Works by László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Frantisek Drtikol, and Pierre Dubreuil exemplify European Modernism. Classic fashion and portraiture are well-represented by Richard Avedon’s Marilyn Monroe and The Chicago Seven, as well as by Irving Penn’s Rock Groups (San Francisco). Contemporary works by Francesca Woodman, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Sultan, Helena Almeida, Shirin Neshat, and Olafur Eliasson, among others, are also included.