A Life Among Artists: Contemporary Photographs from an Esteemed Private Collection
Online Auction: 22–29 September 2021 • 2:00 PM EDT • New York

A Life Among Artists: Contemporary Photographs from an Esteemed Private Collection 22–29 September 2021 • 2:00 PM EDT • New York

This fall, Sotheby’s is pleased to present A Life Among Artists: Contemporary Photographs from an Esteemed Private Collection. This tightly curated selection of nearly 60 photographs notably includes Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #425, the defining image from her 2003-04 Clown series, and Wolfgang Tillman’s Icestorm, a monumental ‘intervention’ piece from 2001.

This superb group of contemporary photographs reflects the collectors’ unique vision, honed by visiting artist studios, museums, and galleries over more than two decades. The sale includes seminal works from each photographer’s career, such as Matthew Barney’s self-portrait Cremaster 3: Entered Novitiate, Thomas Struth’s Audience 2, Catherine Opie’s Untitled No. 9 (Icehouses), and Christopher Williams’ Model No. 105-R59C Keystone Shower Door.

Reflecting an enduring commitment to championing women across media, the sale spotlights works by more than 20 female artists including Uta Barth, Louise Lawler, Sarah Charlesworth, Marina Abramović, and Hannah Wilke. Photographs by Laurie Simmons include both her early Black Bathroom/Self Portrait from 1997 and the more recent The Love Doll (Geisha Tattoo) from 2011. Roni Horn’s cerebral 2003-04 photo-installation Doubt By Water has been included in nearly every major publication and exhibition on the artist’s work.

Women Behind the Camera

Reflecting the collectors’ enduring commitment to championing women artists, the sale spotlights more than 20 female photographers.

Film Noir Forever

Oozing with innuendo, swathed in shadow, and dripping with drama, these scene-stealing images pay homage to the film noir movies of yesteryear.

Post-Modern Portraiture

Eighteenth-century novelist Samuel Richardson famously quipped, ‘Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal.’ If Richardson were alive today, he would fall into silent contemplation when viewing these contemporary portraits.

Both / And: Photographers & Film Makers

Photography and film-making share an inherent connection. These artists straddle both mediums to astound us with their images – still and moving alike.


‘‘Location, Location, Location,” insisted British land developer Harold Samuels in 1944. These contemporary landscape photographs prove that location really does matter.
In Her Own Words: Contemporary Women Photographers on the Female Gaze

These portraits and self-portraits – all taken by women photographers – demonstrate the collectors’ long-standing support of female artists. Each image is paired with the photographer’s own words to elucidate how and why she documented herself or other women.

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Sell with Sotheby's

Sell with Sotheby's

Curious to know if your item is suitable for one of our upcoming sales?

Provide information and share images to request an online estimate now.

Start Selling
arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top