Contemporary Photographs
Online Auction: 28 September–5 October 2021 • 2:00 PM EDT • New York

Contemporary Photographs 28 September–5 October 2021 • 2:00 PM EDT • New York

S otheby’s fifth annual Contemporary Photographs auction in New York showcases significant works by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wolfgang Tillmans, Matthew Brandt, and Robert Polidori alongside photographs by trailblazing women photographers including Carrie Mae Weems, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Patti Smith, and Sophie Calle. Online bidding will be open from 28 September until 5 October. A pre-sale exhibition will be on view at Sotheby’s New York, from 30 September to 4 October. Please contact the Photographs department directly with any viewing requests, as not all works are exhibited, and we want to ensure the photographs are available to view upon your arrival.

Featured Highlights

Property from the Collection of Dr. Joseph D. Lichtenberg

Sotheby’s is privileged to present a selection of nearly 60 photographs from the collection of Dr. Joseph D. Lichtenberg (1925-2021) across our fall sales of Classic Photographs and Contemporary Photographs, with additional works offered through spring 2022. These 19th, 20th, and 21st century photographs encapsulate the essence of their collector, whose passion and spirit of inquiry were rooted in his defining work as an esteemed psychoanalyst. Dr. Lichtenberg and Charlotte, his wife of 63 years, began their collecting journey in the 1960s and 1970s with sculptures by Jean Arp, Henry Moore, and Sir Anthony Caro, before turning to photography around 1980. Prescient early acquisitions include Constantin Brancusi’s La Sorcière and William Eggleston’s iconic Memphis (Tricycle). The Lichtenberg Collection was loaned generously, including to The Phillips Collection, Washington, D. C., where a number of photographs were also donated. With a passion for form across media, Dr. Lichtenberg described his collection as follows: ‘It is not about history, it is not about who, it is about aesthetic.’

Nan Goldin: Photographs from an Important New York Collection

Nan Goldin is best known for her autobiographical visual diary chronicling her life and friendships against the backdrop of an era informed by the AIDS crisis. On offer this season is an exceptional selection of some of Goldin’s most iconic images from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Spotlight: Women’s Mobile Portfolio
View 1 of Lot 7: Women's Mobile Museum Portfolio
women's mobile museum portfolio
Estimate: 25,000 – 35,000 USD
Women's Mobile Museum Portfolio
The Women’s Mobile Museum portfolio is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC), South African visual activist Zanele Muholi, and a media-arts apprenticeship program for 10 Philadelphia-based artists who identify as women and femmes. Produced in a limited numbered edition of 5, this is the first time the Women’s Mobile Museum portfolio has been offered at auction.
East to West: The American Landscape

Contemporary landscape photographs not only capture the sublime beauty of America’s vast terrain, but they also highlight the need for conservation, land stewardship, and environmental awareness in the United States.

Portraiture in Action

Unlike the stillness often associated with traditional portraiture, these images present each sitter with energy, action, and dynamism.

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