While it may not officially be called that (as yet), it’s London Photography Week this week. Photo London 2016 opened at Somerset House on the same day that Phillips held an auction of masterpieces of 20th and 21st photography, while the finalists for the Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize continues on show at the Photographers’ Gallery and “Foam Talent – Shaping the Future of Contemporary Photography” runs into its final week, showing the work of international photographers under 35 years old at the Beaconsfield Gallery in Vauxhall.
Phillips’ auction included iconic photographic images from British and international photographers such as Masahisa Fukase, Peter Beard, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, Richard Avalon and Sebastiano Selgado with “ULTIMATE” – exclusive works including works from limited editions and unique photographs -, a selection of Vogue magazine images and photography from the collection of Paul and Toni Arden.
Not only did the auction provide an overview of the history of photography over recent decades but it caught many of the icons of the era including Andy Warhol, Che Guevara, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali and recorded different aspects of society, architecture and landscape including Bernd and Hilla Becher’s “Cooling Towers” (1963-1967), Edward Burtynsky’s “Manufacturing #10a and #10b Cankun Factory, Xiamen City” and Bruce Davidson’s “East 100th Street, New York” (1966) and, from the world of fashion, Richard Avalon’s photo of “Penelope Tree: Mask by Ungaro”, (1968)
Photography used as the basis of artworks includes Peter Beard’s “I’ll write wherever I can, Koobi Fora, Lake Rudolf, Kenya” (1965) while in Robert Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait (1988) only his eyes stare out at the visitor, watching and following him or her around the auction preview.