Photography as art is gaining momentum in New Zealand , albeit slowly – however there is still a huge gap between our top earning photographers and the rest of the world. Scroll down for the latest auction prices from Art + Object. Our top-selling Photographer is Fiona Partington with a suite of work that sold for $64.728. Whereas Peter Lik from Australia’s top priced work is $1,000,000. I notice too that some of the names that were on the top of this list several years ago have dropped off of it as newer artists such as the afore-mentioned photographer Peter Lik gain recognition. These photographers that reach the heady heights all have agents, most have studied fine art and more importantly perhaps they have stuck with their craft and believed in themselves, success comes from hard work and good luck. I firmly believe you make your own luck to a large extent!! Create what the public perceive as collectible and unique, sometimes its the mundane, sometimes it is pure genius.
How many of you buy photography or even consider it? Cartier Bresson’s work has sky rocketed in price since he died in 2004, New Zealand’s Brian Brake work has seen a big jump in value as have several other prominent NZ photographers. Ming Temple editioned print might set you back 2-4 thousand but a print from the Te Papa gift store is perhaps $30-40
Ming Temple by Brian Brake
|1||Andreas Gursky||Rhein II (1999)||$4,338,500||November 8, 2011||Christie’s New York.|
|2||Cindy Sherman||Untitled #96 (1981)||$3,890,500||May 2011||Christie’s New York. A seventh print of Untitled #96 sold for $2.88 million at Christie’s in May 2012.|
|3||Jeff Wall||Dead Troops Talk (A vision after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986) (1992)||$3,666,500||May 8, 2012||Christie’s New York.|
|4||Andreas Gursky||99 Cent II Diptychon (2001)||$3,346,456||February 2007||Sotheby‘s London auction. A second print of 99 Cent II Diptychon sold for $2.48 million in November 2006 at a New York gallery, and a third print sold for $2.25 million at Sotheby’s in May 2006.|
|5||Edward Steichen||The Pond-Moonlight (1904)||$2,928,000||February 2006||Sotheby’s New York auction.|
|6||Cindy Sherman||Untitled #153 (1985)||$2,700,000||November 2010||Phillips de Pury & Co. New York.|
|7||unknown||Billy the Kid (1879–80) tintype portrait||$2,300,000||June 2011||Brian Lebel’s Old West Show & Auction.|
|8||Dmitry Medvedev||Tobolsk Kremlin (2009)||$1,750,000||January 2010||Christmas Yarmarka, Saint Petersburg.|
|9||Edward Weston||Nude (1925)||$1,609,000||April 2008||Sotheby‘s New York auction.|
|10||Alfred Stieglitz||Georgia O’Keeffe (Hands) (1919)||$1,470,000||February 2006||Sotheby’s New York auction.|
|11||Alfred Stieglitz||Georgia O’Keeffe Nude (1919)||$1,360,000||February 2006||Sotheby’s New York auction.|
|12||Richard Prince||Untitled (Cowboy) (1989)||$1,248,000||November 2005||Christie’s New York auction.|
|13||Richard Avedon||Dovima with elephants (1955)||$1,151,976||November 2010||Christie’s Paris auction.|
|14||Edward Weston||Nautilus (1927)||$1,082,500||April 2010||Sotheby‘s New York auction.|
|15||Peter Lik||One (2010)||$1,000,000||December 2010||Anonymous collectorThis purported sale was a private sale and not verifiable. All other sales on this list are public auction records.|
|16||Jeff Wall||Untangling (1994)||$1,000,000 AUD||2006|||
|17||Eugène Atget||Joueur d’Orgue (1898–1899)||$686,500||April 2010||Christie’s New York auction.|
|18||Robert Mapplethorpe||Andy Warhol (1987)||$643,200||October 17, 2006||Christie’s New York auction.|
|19||Ansel Adams||Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (1948)||$609,600||October 2006||Sotheby’s New York auction.|
N.Z. photos at auction
Thankyou to Ben Plumbly ( Art + Object) for this review on the ten highest N.Z. photography sales in the period 2007–2014
2010 represented a remarkable year for Fiona Pardington. Her breath-taking Ake Ake Huia realised $30,385 to become the highest selling photograph at auction, and then, when the Quai Branly Suite achieved $64.728. This was the first time in this country that a contemporary photographer realised prices comparable to their peers working in more traditional media.
The Next Cabin
Realised $46,900 June 2011
Gavin Hipkins is another photographer to have garnered a significant international following. The Next Cabin which set a new benchmark for his market at auction. Offered with an estimate of $25,000 – $35,000, it sailed past this to realise $46,900 and become the second highest selling photographic work on the New Zealand auction market.
C – type print, edition of 8, 2001
1500 x 1200mm
Realised $24,035 November 2013
In the Presence of Angels
Realised $18,000 August 2013
Anne Noble is one of New Zealand’s most widely respected photographers and was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to photography in 2003. In 2001 she was honoured with a retrospective exhibition and a major book about her work spanning 20 years. Initiated by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the exhibition toured from 2001–2003. In the presence of angels – photographs of the contemplative life (1988 – ’90), a beautiful boxed portfolio of 12 exquisitely printed selenium-toned photographs together with the original cover sheet, came from an extended study of a silent order of Benedictine nuns in a London convent. Many of the defining indexes of Noble’s oeuvre – her interest in darkness and light, tactility, dignity and quietude – play out strongly in this series. One particular photograph in the series A Place Setting in the Refectory, shows the photographer’s name at a setting at the dining table and thus provides the viewer with valuable insight into the privileged position she obtained in having access to the community and capturing their daily rituals and lives.
Taranaki (the Heavens Declare the Glory of God)
Realised $12,000 August 2012
Aberhart has always been, one of our most important artists. Perhaps there is little less fashionable way to work in the twenty first century than with a nineteenth century plate camera. Here, the spherical roof of the observatory recalls Colin McCahon’s Waterfall series, whilst the auratic glow of light and the miniaturised mountain in the rear combine to create an immensely powerful, art-historically informed and beautiful tableau.
Offerings to the Unknown Dead – Kyoto, 1964
colour photograph printed from Kodak transparency on Ektacolour paper
original Brian Brake: Dowse Art Gallery exhibition label affixed verso
460 x 665mm
Realised $12 600 December 2010
Brian Brake is our most renowned photographer due principally to his vocation as a photo-journalist and his membership of the prestigious Magnum agency alongside such luminaries as Henri Carier-Bresson and Ernst Haas. His photo-essays such as Monsoon and Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau at a Bullfight were seen by millions through magazines like Life and were even exhibited in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In 2010 A+O presented over 60 photographs from the artist’s estate for a book, exhibition and auction timed to coincide with renewed interest in the photographer’s work brought about by the large-scale retrospective and monograph put together by Athol McCredie at Te Papa. The highest selling lot of the evening went to the complete set of twenty prints from the Bullfight essay which made $43 968. Yet it was the beautiful image Offering to the Unknown Dead, Kyoto, 1964, heavily utilised by Te Papa in their promotion of the Brian Brake retrospective exhibition, which captured the hearts and minds of collectors on the auction night realizing $12 600.
Lightjet print 2/3
title inscribed, signed and dated 2006 verso
1360 x 1065mm
Realised $11 725 March 2012
Jae Hoon Lee
type C print, edition of 10
1900 x 1485mm
Realised $11,725 November 2011
Jae Hoon Lee is one of the key proponents in this country of a new generation of photo-media artists who is ‘making’ rather than ‘taking’ photographs, in the traditional sense. That is to say the emphasis of the creative process has shifted from his taking a photograph in the field to constructing the image on computer programmes such as photoshop.
gelatin silver print
title inscribed, signed and dated 1987 verso
460 x 302mm
Realised $10,405 June 2009
Peter Peryer is one of our most respected and distinguished photographers. The thought processes behind the photographs are the defining trope of his practice. Peryer has remarked that he actually spends very little time taking photographs but sometimes months leading up to the actual taking of the image thinking about the particular photograph he wants to takeLike Anne Noble, Peryer has seamlessly entered the digital age and embraced technological change, he now almost exclusively produces digital images often shot on his iphone.
gelatin silver print
260 x 265mm
Realised $9,025.00 August 2014
The audience for Westra’s black and white photographs from the late 1950s through to the 1980s has been steadily increasing in recent times. This Untitled image realised $9025 in April of this year and in doing so set a new benchmark for the photographer’s prices at auction. Born in the Netherlands, Westra came to New Zealand in 1957. Working as a freelance photo-journalist in her twenties, Westra was attracted to Ma¯ori as she felt they were the most open and interesting subject available to her. Without question one of our finest social commentators and documentary photographers her great skill for me is the obvious trust she engenders from her subjects, her photographs always appear ‘un-posed’, as if she and her camera are invisible to the people and scenes she portrays. Thus, the distance between the subject and viewer is perhaps closer and less mediated than in any other photographs you will encounter in New Zealand.
Boulogne from the Consolations of Philosophy – Piko nei te matenga
C – type print, edition of 8, 2001
1500 x 1200mm
Realised $24,035 November 2013
(The end of Art + Objects’ report.)
So I am closing this blog with a little request to you all , attend photography exhibitions and consider purchasing work. Buy work that you couldn’t create on your own camera, moments in time, work that cannot be re photographed tomorrow. Not everyone will agree with me but that is my main guiding thought when purchasing photography. I have a very small collection of photography, Xie Hailong and an original Cartier Bresson but mostly NZ photographers. They give me great pleasure and I change them around. Some photographers whom I would like to buy if I win lotto are Marti Friedlander, Bill Henson, Tony Hewitt, Annie Liebovitz and Fan Ho none of whom appear on these lists.
[As a minor player, not in any of these folks league, if I sell a work for 7-8 hundred I am very happy. I’m pleased to say I do sell a few works but I couldn’t feed a family on it!] I sold a copy of “The Parnell Pool” limited edition print after I blogged it recently 🙂 and then a small print from my Broken Dreams blog 🙂