Photographs, Including Works from the Collection of Ernesto Esposito

Photographs, Including Works from the Collection of Ernesto Esposito

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 110. 'Chicago' (Water Fountain).

Dave Heath

'Chicago' (Water Fountain)

Lot Closed

November 16, 11:49 AM GMT


6,000 - 8,000 EUR

Lot Details


Dave Heath

1931 - 2016

'Chicago' (Water Fountain)

gelatin silver print, signed in ink in the margin, titled, dated, and annotated 'ADWS negative' and 'master print' in pencil on the reverse, 1955-56, printed no later than 1962

image: 12.4 by 17.5 cm (4⅞ by 6⅞ in.)

Michael Torosian, Lumiere Press, Toronto, 2011

Dave Heath, A Dialogue with Solitude (Culpeper, Virginia, 1965), unpaginated

Keith F. Davis, Multitude, Solitude: The Photographs of Dave Heath (New Haven, 2015), pl. 83

When Dave Heath returned to the United States after serving in the Korean War, he began his studies in Philadelphia before pursuing them further at Chicago’s storied Institute of Design. Chicago (Water Fountain), made during his time as a student, is one of the few photographs by Heath lacking a human figure. Two fallen leaves gently linger in the rough bowl of a public water fountain, evidencing Heath’s ability to create highly structured, emotional photographs despite the absence of humanity. Photographs by Heath from this period are exceptionally rare and only a handful have appeared at auction in recent years.     

This photograph is one of a group of images from which Heath selected the contents of his seminal 1965 volume, A Dialogue with Solitude. Heath began work on A Dialogue with Solitude in 1961 and would continue reworking its contents and sequencing over the next four years. The images depict a society dealing with postwar tension and societal unease, themes that continue to resonate more than five decades later. A Dialogue with Solitude quickly went out-of-print and remains highly sought-after by photobook collectors. A modern edition was re-issued in 2000 by Lumiere Press.