Swann Galleries Sale Offers Signed Monographs and Portfolios by Contemporary Artist

Swann Galleries’ auction of Important Photobooks and Photographs on Thursday, May 19, offers outstanding collection of 21ST Editions books from the fine art photography publisher and creator of The Journal of Contemporary Photography based in South Dennis, Mass.

These 26 oversized, hand-bound and fully signed monographs and portfolios range from 1998 to 2010 and are being offered with a full set of the Journal. Among the lavishly produced books are volumes devoted to the work of Eikoh Hosoe, Michael Kenna, Sally Mann, Robert and Shana Parkeharrison and Joel-Peter Witkin. Each title features a custom-designed artisanal binding (including leather, vellum, custom-made paper, and fine fabrics), and all are in excellent condition—many in their original shipping boxes. In total, there are 357 bound prints and an additional 159 signed photographs and photogravures.

Other books by contemporary artists are a limited edition of Mario Testino’s collaboration with Martin Amis, Coincidence of the Arts, one of 60 copies, 1998 ($4,000 to $6,000); and Ryan McGinley’s the kids are alright, a hand-assembled book containing 35 color and black-and-white Epson prints of McGinley’s photographs, published on the occasion of the artist’s solo exhibition in April/May 2000, from the first limited edition of 100 copies signed and numbered by McGinley ($8,000 to $12,000).

The Photobooks section also features almost 20 books from the Library of Thomas H. Garver, a one-time assistant and business agent to O. Winston Link, who went on to curate the Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia as well as several important exhibitions at institutions around the U.S. Among the highlights of Garver’s collection are a numbered first edition of Ed Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Alhambra, California, 1963 ($8,000 to $12,000); a deluxe edition of Lee Friedlander’s Self Portrait one of 20 artist copies from the first edition of 100, issued with an original photograph, New York, 1970 ($5,000 to $7,500); and a first edition of Larry Clark’s Teenage Lust, signed by the artist and inscribed to Garver, “My first sale,” New York, 1983 ($600 to $900).

There are also 19th-century albums and journals such as a medical volume with 60 albumen print plates depicting skin deformities and illnesses, Paris, 1872 ($4,000 to $6,000); masterpieces of the photogravure technique, e.g., a first edition of Alvin Langdon Coburn’s New York, with 20 hand-pulled photogravures, London and New York, 1910 ($15,000 to $25,000); classic works by Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank; and many desirable Japanese works, among them Kikuji Kawada’s celebrated Chizu [The Map], a sumptuously illustrated work printed 20 years to the day after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tokyo, 1965 ($15,000 to $25,000).

Part II of the sale, Important Photographs, features several outstanding portfolios, including one with 10 silver prints of Brassaï’s iconic Parisian images, 1932-51, printed 1973 ($12,000 to $18,000); a choice group of five silver prints from the portfolio Walker Evans, 1935-36, printed 1971 ($20,000 to $30,000); one of six proof copies of a Kenneth Josephson portfolio, 1961-73, printed 1975 ($14,000 to $18,000); Jazz by Jim Marshall, with 10 photographs of notable musicians, 1960-76, printed 1994 ($6,000 to $9,000); and a suite of six black-and-white and color photos from Annie Leibovitz’s Women, 1995-96 ($15,000 to $20,000).

Among the earliest individual images are albumen and daguerreotype portraits; two photographs by Heinrich Kühn, Women from the Puster Valley, bromoil print on tissue, circa 1914, and a portrait of the Kühn children, pigment print, 1904 ($7,000 to $10,000 and $6,000 to $9,000 respectively); a run of Native American portraits by Edward S. Curtis, as well as H.H. Tammen’s stunning representation of a Ute Indian Tribe, oversize silver print, 1902 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Celebrity portraits include André Kertész’s Colette, Paris, silver print, 1930, printed 1970s ($4,000 to $6,000); Berenice Abbott’s James Joyce, silver print, 1928, printed circa 1940 ($10,000 to $15,000); a Life magazine image of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn—Academy Awards by Grant Allan, 1954, printed 1984 ($4,000 to $6,000); and several views of Marilyn Monroe, including Bert Stern’s mural-size chromogenic print with an X drawn over the image creating what looks like a crucifix, 1962, printed 1992 ($15,000 to $25,000).

Fashion photography highlights are Host P. Horst’s masterful Mainbocher Corset, Paris, silver print, 1939, printed 1990s ($14,000 to $18,000); Ormond Gigli’s whimsical Girls in the Windows, N.Y.C., chromogenic print, 1966, printed 1990s; Helmut Newton’s racy By-Product of an Advertising Sitting, ferrotyped silver print with a notation on the back reading “Photographed clandestinely during a fashion sitting in Paris,” 1973 ($12,000 to $18,000); and Albert Watson’s Kate Moss, Marrakech, silver print, 1993 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Compelling works by contemporary artists include Francesca Woodman’s Untitled, 1980 ($10,000 to $15,000); Joel-Peter Witkin’s The Brassiere of Joan Miro, silver print, 1982 ($4,000 to $6,000); Herb Ritts’s Waterfall, Woman with Sphere, Hollywood, silver print, 1989 ($7,000 to $10,000); and works by Judith Joy Ross, Vito Acconci and Bill Jacobson.

Rounding out the sale are eye-grabbing landscapes by Ansel Adams, among them Clearing Storm, Mount Williamson, From Manzanar, Sierra Nevada, California, silver print, 1944, printed 1970s ($20,000 to $30,000); classic images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, such as Bords de la Marne, silver print, 1938, printed late 1980s ($14,000 to $18,000); two interior photographs by Roy DeCarava, Hallway, 1953, printed 1982, and Dancers, 1956, printed 1983 ($10,000 to $15,000 each); as well as Josef Koudelka’s Gypsy, Romania, silver print, 1968 ($8,000 to $12,000); and W. Eugene Smith’s heartbreaking Tomoko and Her Mother, from his series documenting the poisoning of Japanese villagers from mercury in their water supply—known as Minamata disease, silver print, 1972 ($12,000 to $18,000).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19.

The photobooks and photographs will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, May 16 through Wednesday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Image: Ryan McGinley, The kids are alright. An artist’s, hand-assembled book containing 35 color and black-and-white reproductions of McGinley’s photographs (a few are double page spreads) produced on an Epson printer; the end pages repeating the photographs as thumbnails with titles below. Small 8vo, photo-pictorial wrappers, with McGinley’s embossed copyright hand stamp on the back cover, minor crease to backstrip. first limited edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered by mcginley. (New York): (Peder Bonnier Gallery), (2000) Estimate:$8,000-12,000

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