Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eggleston and Frank lead Christies April 5, NYC sale

The sale is led by one of the most important examples by Robert Frank to have ever been presented at auction. Frank made this print of Trolley - New Orleans, 1955 (estimate: $400,000-600,000), in 1961 for his two-person exhibition with Harry Callahan at the Museum of Modern Art, the last show organized by Edward Steichen before his retirement in 1962. It is the only early exhibition print of this image in private hands and the only one printed by Frank himself. Trolley - New Orleans, which graced the cover of Frank’s seminal book, The Americans, was identified by Sid Kaplan, Frank's printer since 1968, as a particularly difficult one to print. However, this example encompasses a full tonal range, with rich blacks and nuanced whites. Extending the exceptional provenance, Frank gave the present lot to Sidney Rapoport who developed a special form of offset lithography with which he printed the 1968 and 1969 editions of The Americans. The current owner acquired it from Mr. Rapoport.

Photographs by William Eggleston from the collection of Tom and Carolyn Young - Christie's is will present six lots on behalf of the Young family. These works symbolize the meaningful and enduring friendship of two significant artists who have had such an impact on one another and on those around them. Tom Young is a gifted abstract expressionist painter who was a founding member of the radical 10th Street co-operative galleries in New York City in the 1950s, where he worked alongside Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston. He met William Eggleston in 1960 when he was an artist-in-residence at 'Ole Miss' (University of Mississippi). It was here that Tom became a close friend and something of a mentor. Around 1964, having abandoned his studies without graduating, Eggleston went to Paris to take photographs and returned to Memphis without a single shot. He explained to Young that he was unable to work because he disliked everything around him. Young suggested that Eggleston use this malaise as the basis for his photographs. Eggleston's subsequent 'democratic' approach was fully realized in the photographer's magnificent and disturbingly vibrant 'Greenwood, Mississippi' of 1973 (Estimate: $150,000 - $250,000), which is inscribed affectionately, 'To Tom, I love you my friend. Damn the tarantulas, full steam ahead.'

You can go to Christies site HERE, their e-catalogue is well worth a look.

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