Issue #152  11/10/2008
Van Ham Holds Photo Auction in Cologne On December 5th

Van Ham Fine Art Auctions of Cologne, Germany will hold its Fall Photography sale on December 5, 2008 on Schönhauser Str. 10-16, 50968 Cologne.

In 1995 "Batman Forever" came out in the U.S. and this year the much-longed-for "The Dark Knight" hit the screens. Van Ham wants to keep the Batman them alive, so one of the top lots of this year's autumn sale is the large-format Batman photograph by Daniel and Geo Fuchs from their series "Toygiants", accurately named like the book, which was published in 2007. This sought-after work from 2005 is estimated at 20000-24000 euro (lot 1142).

Also in this auction are works by Bernd and Hilla Becher. One of the key works offered is their portfolio "Industriebauten", which is comprised of 14 original gelatin silver prints from the years 1961 to 1973. This edition, of an originally projected 50 portfolios, was published in 1975 by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag and actually sold in an edition of 30. The portfolio has never come to auction in complete form before, and it provides an exemplary cross-section of the early œvre of Bernd and Hilla Becher and is estimated at 40000-50000 euro (lot 1054). The large-format vintage print titled "Getreidesilo, Canton, OH, USA" made by the Düsseldorf photographer couple in 1977 (lot 1055, estimate: 15000 euro) is also spectacular.

Among the American photographs are two impressive works by Diane Arbus: "Transvestite at a Drag Ball, NYC", which is estimated at 20000 euro (lot 1039) and "Mae West in a Chair at Home, Santa Monica, CA", which is estimated at 8000 euro (lot 1040). There are also two original prints by Richard Avedon, which are estimated at 4500-4800 euro (lots 1044 and 1045).

There are a number of highlights from the 1920s and 1930s. On offer are special high-quality works by Albert Renger-Patzsch, who has become a star at auction after a range of outstanding sale results at Van Ham during the last few years. Particularly of note is the large-format exhibition print "Das Bäumchen". Renger-Patzsch often photographed this motif, which he himself counted to be among his most important photographs, in 1929 (lot 1279, 12000 euro). Two autographs by Renger-Patzsch are offered at 300 euro and 2000 euro (lot 1013-1014). A bibliophilic rarity, the variant of his book "Die Welt ist schön" from 1928, comprising only 72 plates, is on offer (lot 1016, 4000 euro). A photograph by Hugo Erfurth that portrays Renger-Patzsch on the other side of the camera will also be in the auction (lot 1122, 3600 euro).

Original prints by the Cologne photographer Hannes Maria Flach are very rare on the auction market, but Van Ham presents a self portrait from 1933 (lot 1132, 2000 euro) and four architecture photographs of the Cologne Cathedral from the years 1925 to 1929 (lot 1133, 6000 euro). The Cologne photographer August Sander is represented with a number of works providing a profound insight into his diversified œuvre (lots 1309-1318, 900-2400 euro). A rare original print by the photographer Tina Modotti, which originated between 1925 and 1929 in Mexico, is estimated at 6500 euro (lot 1252).

The auction features several artist portraits from the 1940s-1950s. The images include a vintage print by Florence Henri, depicting the writer Ernst Jünger (Lot 1175, 900 euro), and two original gelatin silver prints by Florence Homolka portraying Thomas Mann (Lot 1190, 2400 euro) and fellow photographer Brassai (lot 1191, 1200 euro). Max Baur's vintage photograph depicting lime tree leaves, which is taken in the same period, should spark interest (lot 1052, 4000 euro).

As is usual, German photographers of the 1950s through 1970s are well represented in the auction. Prints by Chargesheimer (lots 1094-1100, 600-1000 euro), Peter Keetman (lots 1199-1205, 1800-2600 euro), Toni Schneiders (lots 1332-1339, 1000-2000 euro) and Ludwig Windstosser (lots 1395-1398, 1600-1800 euro), as well as the famous image "Schillerslage (Hannover)" from October 1978 by Heinrich Riebesehl (lot 1290, 3500 euro) are in the sale.

The large-format color print "Pool, Fort Lauderdale" by the New York-based artist Joel Meyerowitz (lot 1250, 8000 euro) stands out among the contemporary art photography offerings. An attractive cross-section of the early œvre of the "Düsseldorfer Schule" is represented with the "Düsseldorfer Fotomappe" from 1989, comprising works by Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth (lot 1243, 12000 euro). Candida Höfer's photograph "U-Bahnstation Theaterplatz Oslo I 2000" in a large-format C-print is estimated at 12000 euro (lot 1181). Two large-format works by Matthias Hoch will be offered for 4800 and 7000 euro (lots 1178 and 1179). An atmospheric seascape by Lynn Davis from 1993 is estimated at 10000 euro (lot 1110). And a print dating from 1996 of the famous photograph of "Mathilde" on the Eiffel tower taken by Peter Lindbergh in 1989 is expected to realize a minimum of 4000 euro (lot 1237).

The auction can be previewed from Nov.27-Dec.1, 2008 from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Schönhauser Str. 10-16, 50968 Cologne, Germany.

The completely illustrated English catalogue is available on the Van Ham homepage (http://www.van-ham.com ). Catalogues and further information can be requested at Van Ham Fine Art Auctions, Schönhauser Str. 10-16, 50968 Cologne; phone +49 (0)221-92 58 62-0, fax +49 (0)221-92 58 62-4; http://www.van-ham.com ; info@van-ham.com . To reach the photography experts on this sale, contact either Anne Gantefuehrer-Trier by email at a.gantefuehrer-trier@van-ham.com , or by phone at +49 (0)221-92 58 62–28; or Marie-Katrin Schnermann by email at m.schnermann@van-ham.com , or by phone at +49 (0)221-92 58 62–80.