William Eggleston: a dedicated auction at Christie's New York on March 12th. In their latest series of single-artist sales Christie's last night presented to the market a collection of classic Eggleston photographs, 36 lots in total. The pigment prints were in a new large format, 112 x 152 cm, all in an edition of two.
Philippe Garner, Christie's International Head of Photographs, evokes the qualities that make Eggleston's work so special:
Here are photographs in which the commonplace becomes strangely compelling; emotionally neutral suburban scenes that might otherwise appear to have little character are transformed by the subtle embrace of a warm, early-evening light; everyday things, including the most banal elements of domestic interiors that would normally fail to attract our attention, let alone our curiosity, succeed in indelibly fixing their forms, and their very existence, in our consciousness. Eggleston’s discreet roving eye moves fluidly through space, lingering briefly and surely to capture the alignment of elements that will constitute a picture that has integrity and quiet expressiveness.
How does one begin to characterise or explain the very particular sensibility expressed in William Eggleston's photographs? Perhaps there is no adequate verbal equivalent to the pictorial results of this singular photographer's on-going existential enquiry. His pictures just are – without an evident agenda, yet subtly authoritative in their suggestion of a fatalistic reading of the physical world in all its serendipity and seeming randomness. The distinction between what may be described as ugly or beautiful becomes irrelevant, trivial. These images are softly insistent on being read on their own oblique, unstated terms. Their tenacious subliminal impact has earned an ever-growing appreciation. The photographer gives his audience opportunity to sense his view of the physical world, proposing the elements of a relationship of a very particular order, one that is ever-curious, yet non-judgmental, accepting, and touched with a fine-tuned, one might say poetic susceptibility.
Some of the photographs:
|Lot 3, untitled 1979, realized $314,500|
|Lot 6, untitled 1973, realized $422,500|
|Lot 15, untitled, realized $170,500|
|Lot 18, untitled 1970, realized $194,500|
|Lot 22, untitled 1973, realized $386,500|
|Lot 24, untitled 1979, realized $578,500|
Post script: Last week’s William Eggleston auction at Christie’s was an enormous success. All 36 photos up for sale were sold for a total sum of $5,900,250. Profits from the sale will go to the Eggleston Artistic Trust.