NEW YORK — Bonhams May 7 Photographs auction at the Madison Avenue salesroom will feature exceptional works by two photographers currently enjoying major museum retrospectives, Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) and Bill Brandt (1904-1983).
On the West Coast, Garry Winogrand's retrospective is on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a major exhibition organised jointly with the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and due to travel to New York, Paris and Madrid. Considered by John Szarkowski, the Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art from 1962-1991, to be the "central photographer of his generation," Winogrand was a street photographer examining 20th century America.
Bonhams will offer three lots for auction by Winogrand on May 7 including an early 1959 composition, Park Avenue, depicting an enraged pet monkey cruising down the famous street in the back of wealthy couple's convertible ($20,000-30,000). Winogrand gave the print to an employee of the Light Gallery as he prepared for his pivotal 1981 exhibition at the storied space. Signed in pencil on the verso, this print has never been on the market before and is the first version ever to come up for auction with Winogrand's signature. Winogrand's 1969 Centennial Ball, showing a party-goer at the MOMA event in New York casually exposing her breast to a male companion will also be up for auction (est. $2,000-3,000), as will four selected images from the Women Are Beautiful series taken between 1965-1975 (est. $6,000-8,000).
Definitive photographs by Bill Brandt, whose retrospective "Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light," is on exhibition at the MOMA in New York until August, will also be up for auction. Brandt, a former assistant in Man Ray's Paris studio, was a leading figure in modernist photography. As one of the most important British photographers of the 20th century, Brandt became especially well-known for his depictions of contrasts in British society.
Bonhams will offer three Brandt photographs on May 7, all from a 1937 series examining the everyday realities of British coal miners. Included will be Brandt's Northumbria Miner at His Evening Meal, showing a coal miner, his face and hands obscured by a thick coating of black soot, sitting down for dinner in a modest home with his wife (est. $2,500-3,500). Also available will be Brandt's East Durham Coal-Miner Just Home from the Pit, showing an exhausted and forlorn miner, soot-covered and shirtless, smoking a cigarette in his kitchen (est. $3,000-5,000).
Other esteemed photographers represented in the auction include Robert Mapplethorpe, whose major 2013 exhibitions in Los Angeles at the Contemporary Art Museum and the J. Paul Getty have cemented the artist's importance for a new generation. Bonhams will offer Mapplethorpe's 1988 Orchid (est. $9,000-12,000), property of the Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, which has focused on collecting contemporary art for the last 40 years.
Bonhams Photographs auction will take place May 7 in New York. The auction will preview at Bonhams San Francisco from April 27-29, and at Bonhams New York from May 4-6. A catalogue is available online at www.bonhams.com/auctions/20912/
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com