As is tradition, the auction spans a wide arc from the early days of photography to the present day, traversing the history and styles of the medium. Heinrich Kühn’s two photographs of his children and an important still life are works of pictorialist photography from the turn of the century (lots 451-453, each € 4,000), whilst the counter-movement to this, American “straight photography”, is represented in the auction by two of its most important protagonists, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston. Examples of the “Neues Sehen” such as The Steerage (lot 458, € 4 - 5,000) and the plant study Kale, halved (lot 488, € 5 - 7,000) express the pure form of the visible to artistic perfection. August Sander and Albert Renger-Patzsch represent German New Objectivity photography with several characteristic works including a formally aesthetic, precisely composed landscape of the Ruhr area by Renger-Patzsch (lots 461-465 and 472-474, €1,000 - 4,000).
Surrealist and abstract tendencies of the pre-war and early post-war period are seen in the works of André Kertész (lot 499-500, € 3 - 5,500), Maurice Tabard (lot 492, € 6 - 8,000), Chargesheimer (lot 532, € 10 - 15,000) and Heinz Hajek-Halke (lot 486, € 5 - 7,000 et.al.). A whole chapter is dedicated to the oeuvre of one of the founders of Fotoform - Ludwig Windstosser. His commission-led advertising photography depicting predominantly motifs of heavy industry is characterised by the same artistic conscious expression as his studies of free nature and form (lots 524-534, € 1,400 - 4,000).
Among the photographs that have had a particularly lasting effect on our collective visual memory are the NASA photographs of the first manned lunar landings, offered for sale in the Photography Auction (lot 576, € 15 - 20,000) and the subsequent evening auction of Contemporary Art (lot 97, € 16 - 18,000).
The subtly humorous snapshot of two ladies taking photographs in New Orleans by the street photographer Lee Friedlander (lot 578, €5 - 7,000), the world-famous image of the burning Twin Towers in View from Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Manhattan, 11 September 2001 by the reportage photographer Thomas Hoepker (lot 598, € 5 - 7,000) and the nude shot of the style icon Kate Moss, Marrakech by Albert Watson (lot 600, € 4 - 6,000) round up the auction’s broad offering.
The highlights of contemporary photography are once again provided by representatives of the Düsseldorf School of Photography. Andreas Gursky and Elger Esser are among its internationally renowned protagonists and are present here with important works: Gursky’s darkly enigmatic night view of Heidelberg East (lot 33, € 100 - 120,000) is a unique work and in a representative large format, whilst, thematically and formally, Chatressac I by fellow student Elger Esser offers a counterpart (lot 68, € 10 - 12,000). Hiroshi Sugimoto is present with an alluring detailed view of Tempelhof Airport, an image which should also be of interest to fans of Berlin and architecture (lot 6, € 10 - 12,000).