Many top lots, high quality

The highlights of the classical early 20th century photography include three prominent and well preserved Paris views by Jean Eugène Auguste Atget (lots 21 – 23, 4/5,000). Also taken in Paris are two further top lots of the auction: the Eifel tower ...

A selection of 26 exemplary albumin prints by Wilhelm van Gloeden, Guglielmo Plüschow and Vincenzo Galdi from the collection of Heinz-Peter Barandun start the auction: the open-air portraits and nude studies of young men taken in around 1900 come directly from the von Gloeden’s estate and belong to the largest and most important private collections of photographers and his circle, which were honoured with a large museum exhibition in 2008 (lots 1 – 18, 1-2,200 euro).

The highlights of the classical early 20th century photography include three prominent and well preserved Paris views by Jean Eugène Auguste Atget (lots 21 – 23, 4/5,000). Also taken in Paris are two further top lots of the auction: the Eifel tower, shot in 1928 by Germaine Krull in a spectacular view from below, and here as a 1950s print with a full exhibition provenance (lot 71, 4/5,000), as well as a series of three prints of stage designs, no longer in existence, for the theatre piece “L'Éphémère est éternel” (Michel Seuphor), designed by Piet Mondrian and documented in 1926 by André Kertész in the Parisian studio of an artist friend. A hitherto unknown ink pen drawing by Mondrian on the back of one of the prints (lot 79, 12/15,000) provides the Mondrian research with new insights into the colouring of the work.

A rare view of the “Theater in Verona” is from Albert Renger-Patzsch, showing the photographer’s clear, modern photographic style in its mastery. The cubature of the ancient building is experienced through the strong chiaroscuro contrasts (lot 37, 3/4,000). The vivid portrait of the painter Otto Dix, a close-up shot by Hugo Erfurth, who photographed Dix and his family over a long period, seems almost three-dimensional (lot 48, 8/10,000).

The highlights of the post-war photography include a further portrait: taken in 1952, the almost bizarre portrait “Coco” by Robert Doisneau is here in the form of a rare vintage print from the Robert Giraud collection, a close friend and companion of the photographer (lot 107, 5,5/6,500). The famous shot of “Fifth Avenue Houses #4, 6, 8” from the series “Changing New York” by Berenice Abbott, who documented the rapid change of the metropolis in the 1930s with the help of a state subsidy programme, is here in the form of an early, therefore rare and finely toned print (lot 84, 10/15,000).

Lee Friedlander’s “Texas”, the shot of the Lone Star Café with pick-up trucks, and the “Swedish Lutheran Church” in Clarkville, Colorado by Robert Adams, lively depict the American lifestyle of the 1960s (lot 123, 5/7,000 and lot 124, 6/8,000). These are only two works from a whole group of American photographs from a South German private collection offered in this auction, including works that are rarely offered on the German market.

Luigi Ghirri’s “Ile Rousse” offers a rare vintage cibachrome print from the famous “Kodachrome” series published in book form by the photographer in 1978 under the same title, and which helped him to international recognition (lot 157, 3/4,000).

A total of four photographs are from Peter Beard including the famous motif “Maureen Gallagher and a Late Night Feeder at Hog Ranch” from 1987 (lot 164, 10/12,000) as well as a work from the series “Diary Pages”, a C-print with white overpainting in which Beard references the genocide in Rwanda (lot 165, 15/20,000).

Contemporary Art + Photography (2 June)

A group of contemporary photographic works are again offered in conjunction with the Contemporary Art auction, including highlights such as the large-format pigment print “Untitled (Secret Liaison, from the series: Beneath the Roses)” by Gregory Crewdson. It is the mystery of the staging, reminiscent of a film scene, that makes the shots by Americans so insistent (lot 646, 30/40,000). The shot “Kunstmuseum Stuttgart” by the Korean photographer Kim In Sook, taken for the series “Inside out” with meticulously arranged views of modern housing facades and the personnel behind them, for which she is well-known, is from the year 2010 (lot 652, 30/40,000).

Further works which may interest collectors include Wolfgang Tillman’s famous still life “Window/Caravaggio” (lot 873, 6/8,000) or “Bibliothek Madrid IV” by Candida Höfer (lot 729, 6/8,000).