Heinz Hajek-Halke Photographs for Sotheby’s Sale

Sotheby’s London May 20 sale of Photographs will offer 126 lots covering the history of photography from the beginnings through to the present with offerings of Contemporary works.

The sale will include a group of thirteen works by Heinz Hajek-Halke – one of the most remarkable figures of German avant-garde photography in the 20th century – that come to the market directly from the artist’s estate. Das Eva-Chanson, dating from 1928-1932, perhaps Hajek-Halke’s most romantic and evocative image, is a montage of two superimposed negatives, one of a nude woman and one of an everyday object, in this case a leaf (lot 18, est. £8,000-10,000).

Among the sale highlights are two superb examples of the work of Eugène Atget, which have come from a private French collection: La Villette, Rue Asselin, Fille publique faisant le quart devant sa porte is a signature image from an artist who has been called the first Modernist photographer (lot 7, est. £20,000-30,000). One of only a few prints executed from this negative, this work is in superb condition and has never appeared on the market before.

From an Important French Collection come signature images by Irving Penn – Frozen Foods with String Beans, New York, 1977 (lot 64, est. £40,000-50,000), Horst P. Horst, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lee Friedlander, William Eggleston and others. A further work by Penn is the dye-transfer print Two Liqueurs, New York, 1951 (Lot 76), this remarkable image rarely comes to the market and carries an estimate of £60,000-80,000.

One of Robert Mapplethorpe’s most recognisable images, Calla Lily, 1984, comes to the market with an estimate of £40,000-60,000 (lot 60).

Robert Polidori’s Marat Rez-de-Chaussée, from his well-known Château de Versailles series, is one of the Contemporary highlights in the sale and is estimated at £15,000-20,000 (lot 104).