In preparation for next month’s photography fairs, exhibits, and auctions, African Diaspora Photography wanted to share information on some of the top black photographers in the photography market. The first is Carrie Mae Weems. In this video segment of Art21, Ms. Weems discusses the life blood of her photography work: narrative and storytelling.
At the April 5th Christie’s sale of Photographs, nineteen out of 348 featured images of black people or of Latin America. Several of the images were taken by such noted photographers of the 20th century as Manual Alvarez Bravo, Robert Frank, Irving Penn, and W. Eugene Smith, among others. Lot 264 by Robert Frank sold for $ 434,500, Trolley – New Orleans, 1955 , a photograph featured in Frank’s famous book, The Americans, depicting a segregated trolley car. Equally noteworthy is Frank’s Charleston, South Carolina 1955 photograph selling for over three times its high estimate ($182,500). The total sale yielded $ 6,880,450 with buyer’s premium.
Here are the lots you should review.
#60: Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Diego Rivera painting the River Lerma Well, 1951. Sold for $ 9,375; Estimate $ 3,000-5,000.
#98: W. Eugene Smith, Nurse MidWife, 1952. Sold for $6,875; Estimate $7,000 – $9,000.
#147: Irving Penn, Pila Pila Sisters, Dahomey, 1967. Sold for $13,750; Estimate $ 10,000 – 15,000.
(Above) #263: Robert Frank, Charleston, South Carolina, 1955
Sold for $182,500; Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
Sold for $8,750; Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000
Sold for $27,500; Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000
Sold for $26,250; Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Sold for $74,500; Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
Sold for $43,750; Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
Sold for $30,000; Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
(Above) #319: Manuel Alvarez Bravo, La Buena Fama Durmiendo, 1930
Sold for $8,125; Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000
Sold for $9,375; Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000
(Below) #332: Weegee, Easter Sunday, Harlem, 1940. Sold for $3,750; Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000
At the Sotheby’s Photographs sale on October 5th, there were a handful of lots which featured photographs of black people, or were produced by black photographers. Among the 185 lots offerred were:
Lot 65: Henri Cartier Bresson
Easter Parade Harlem, 1947
Sold for 7,500 USD
Lot 72: Herman Leonard
Jazz Studies, 1948-1991
Sold for 28, 125 USD
Lot 113: Paul Outerbridge, Jr.
“Sleepy Negro” 1924
Sold for 31, 250 USD
Lot 168: Carrie Mae Weems
“Made for Him, Made for Her” 1993
Sold for 13,750 USD
As noted on the blog, In View: Jason Edward Kaufman on Art and Culture, at ArtInfo, and mentioned during his panel discussion at AIPAD, Martin Z. Margulies will exhibit works that focus on Africa at the Margulies Collection at Warehouse (Wynwood section of Miami, Florida) this fall (November 7 – April 2011). Among the works will be photographs likely from noted African photographers such as Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe, and Zwelethu Mthethwa, among others.
The ArtInfo blog announcement focuses on Margulies’ recent pledge of a $5 million bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
See examples of Zwelethu Mthethwa’s work at the exhibition, Zwelethu Mthethwa: Inner Views, now at the Studio Museum of Harlem through October 24, 2010. See The New York Times review of the exhibition and the recent Aperture monograph on Mthethwa’s work.
Four examples of Mthethwa’s work was sold at the AFRICA auction held at Phillips de Pury in May. His works were estimated from 4,000 to 15,000 USD, and sold for 5,000 to 27,000 USD, respectively.
Mr. Mthethwa is an artist represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery.
Among the lots for the June 3rd auction of photographs at Villa Grisebach (Germany) were two photographs by African photographer, Seydou Keïta.
The Modern and Contemporary Photography Sale included A Moorish Haratine Woman Posing With Her Daughter on a Chequered Blanket, which sold for approximately 5,894 USD, falling between the auction house estimate of 5,360 – 8,040 USD.
Traditionally Dressed Couple with Child, a 1952–1955 gelatin silver print, produced in 1998 did not sell.
Of note is a photograph that is part of a portfolio entitled:
containing eleven platinum prints (by Stan Klimek) of various sizes. The image shown below features three figures of varying skin tones. This lot went unsold.
Lots 79 through 82 of Sotheby’s April 13th Photography Auction include works by Roy DeCarava. The images were originally included in the library of entertainer and social activist, Harry Belafonte.
Catalogue notes indicate that the images were used as part of the production of Belafonte: New York 19, a CBS television special broadcasted on Sunday, 20 November 1960. Along with DeCarava’s well-known work on jazz musicians and Harlem, he collaborated on album photography for Belafonte.
I wanted to give you a quick run down of the forthcoming photography auctions you should be aware of. If I’ve missed any, please let me know as I will gladly include on this blog. The below locations are in New York unless otherwise noted. I plan to highlight specific images relevant to our theme of African diaspora photography, in the next few days.
Sotheby’s – April 13
Christie’s – April 14 and 15
Phillips de Pury – April 16
In Motion – April 19 (benefit auction)
CEPA – April 24 (10th BIENNIAL PHOTOGRAPHY ART AUCTION)
Humane Society – April 27
Doyle New York – April 28
Villa Grisebach – June 3