Back to Black: 8 Photographs

Launch Slideshow

From Helmut Newton to Richard Avedon, a remarkable array of masterpiece photographs speaking to the history of the medium will be offered in Paris on 13 November.

Back to Black: Photographies
13 November | Paris



Back to Black: 8 Photographs

  • Hiroshi Sugimoto, ‘Barragan House’, 2002. Silver Print. Estimate €120,000–180,000.
    From 1997 to 2002, Hiroshi Sugimoto photographed iconic buildings of classical modernist and contemporary architecture in soft focus. In Barragan House, he immortalised the work of the Spanish architect Luis Barragan by highlighting the structure’s essential core, enhanced by the stark contrast between light and shade.

  • Helmut Newton, ‘Charlotte Rampling, Hotel Nord Pinus, Arles’, 1973. Silver print. Estimate: €18,000–23,000.
    Helmut Newton revolutionised fashion photography through his inimitable erotic and provocative images. Newton’s compositions are classically and subtly constructed in black and white, with a playful and voyeuristic style as seen in this stunning photograph of Charlotte Rampling captured in all her leonine beauty.

  • Herbert List, ‘Goldfish bowl’, Santorin, Grèce, 1937. Vintage silver print on Agfa-Brovira paper. Estimate €10,000–15,000.
    Moving from fashion photography to composing still lives in his studio, List combines classicism and surrealism in his works. Although carefully constructed settings seem to be the leitmotiv of his studies, List confessed: “The pictures I took spontaneously, with a bliss-like sensation, as if they had long inhabited my unconscious were often more powerful than those I had painstakingly composed. I grasped their magic as in passing. ”

  • José Maria Sert, Etude pour ‘L’Ascension’, La Danse de la mort, 1939–1945. Unique vintage silver print.
    Estimate €7,000–10,000.
    Offered for the first time at auction, several photographic studies by Catalan decorative painter José Maria Sert are presented. In turn baroque, surrealist, constructivist and modernist, this set of 23 photographs illustrates how he used this new tool of photography in his creative process. In front of the camera, easily malleable wooden mannequins are set up in action to study perspective, lighting and composition.

  • Diane Arbus, ‘Identical Twins, Cathleen and Colleen, Roselle, New Jersey’, 1967. Vintage silver print. Estimate €200,000–300,000.
    One of America’s best-known and most controversial 20th-century photographers, Diane Arbus was fascinated by marginalised members of society. Identical in appearance but with different expressions, one with a slight smile and the other with a slight frown, side by side, dressed in the same way and both looking straight out at us, these twins present questions about themselves which leads us to examine our own identity.

  • Richard Avedon, ‘Edward Roop, Coal Miner, Paonia, Colorado’ 12/10/79. Silver print. Estimate €70,000–100,000.
    As a fashion photographer, Richard Avedon would capture celebrity and beauty. With his iconic series In the American West, Avedon used his talent as a portraitist to turn humble miners into powerful American heroes.

  • Nick Brandt, ‘Ranger with Tusks of Killed Elephant, Amboseli’ 2011. Pigment print. Estimate €60,000–80,000.
    This monumental and highly emotive work is one of a selection of Brandt’s most iconic images presented in the sale, showcasing Brandt’s ten-year project of documenting the grandeur and fragility of wildlife at the hands of man in East Africa.

  • Bernd and Hilla Becher, ‘Wassertürme (Trichter)’, 1972. Nine silver prints. Estimate €60,000–80,000.
    This exceptional set of nine water towers is a tribute to Bern and Hilla Bechers’ groundbreaking practice, which influenced both conceptual, and minimal art. Portraying industrial buildings in a standardised way, it is an iconic example of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s pursuit of radical simplicity.