Hiroshi Sugimoto Photographs : The Fossilization of Time
Auction: 3 Nov – 8 Nov 2018
Thu 8 Nov 18:00
9 avenue Matignon
+33(0)1-40 76 84 16
Hiroshi Sugimoto Photographs: The Fossilization of Time
Auction: Thursday 8 November 2018, 6pm
Sat 3 November, 10am – 6pm
Mon 5 November, 10am – 6pm
Tue 6 November, 10am – 6pm
Wed 7 November, 10am – 6pm
Thu 8 November, 10am – 12pm
Contact: Elodie Morel, Head of Department
+33 (0) 1 40 76 84 16
As part of Paris Photo, Christie's France will organize three events around photography. The department will present for the first time, on November 8, a monographic sale dedicated to the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. This sale, part of this 160th anniversary celebrating the diplomatic and artistic relations between Japan and France, will also coincide with Sugimoto's current exhibition at the Château de Versailles, from 16 October 2018 to 17 February 2019.
In addition, a general sale turned this year towards contemporary photography and composed of 104 lots will be offered on the same day. The public will also have the opportunity to discover a fashion photography exhibition featuring nearly fifty photographs by F.C. Gundlach as well as works from his personal collection.
The sale dedicated to Hiroshi Sugimoto is a retrospective of his work, bringing together twenty-nine photographs with a global estimate of €1.5 to 2 million, representing the different themes he explored.
Sugimoto never ceases to identify the origins of art by drawing inspiration from existential themes such as the passing of time or the history of humanity. Sugimoto works by series in order to materialize his thought, to get as close as possible to the elusive, as time and light. One of the highlights of the sale, Sea of Japan, Rebun Island, estimated at €200,000-300,000, is part of the artist's most famous series "Seascapes" which he began in the 1980’s. To capture these sea landscapes, Sugimoto travels to remote places, meditating for hours until he reaches a perfect skyline
This meditation about time passing through the immensity of the sea is also reflected in his series of sculptures Five Elements. Inspired by the pagoda, their shapes refer to the Buddhist doctrine of the Five Universes: a square (the earth), a globe (water), a pyramid (fire), a half globe (air) and the tear from the top (emptiness). In the hollow of each object is also integrated a photograph of the Seascape series. A shot of this series, Five elements, Bass Strait, Table Cape, will be offered for sale, for an estimate of €45,000-65,000.
As a multifaced artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto is also an architect. He was indeed interested in the works created by his predecessors to reveal the masterpieces of modern architecture in a new perspective. The sharpness of the images becomes blurry going back to the past and getting as close as possible to the initial project, its shadow on the blank paper, here, Brooklyn Bridge, 2001, estimated at €120,000- 180,000. A photo of the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2000) will also be offered for €12,000-18,000.
Always looking back to the past, Sugimoto had a great admiration for William Henri Fox Talbot's works which he has been collecting for several years. One of his series brings back Talbot’s paper negatives to life, copying and enlarging them to the point where the grain of the calotype becomes visible. Transforming the negative into a positive in a ten times larger format, in addition to hand-colored it, gives life to some of Talbot’s prints he never reproduced, such as Bust of Venus, November 26, 1840, 2007, estimated at €30,000-40,000.
One print of his other famous series, "Lightning fields", Lightning Fields #128, executed in 2009, will be offered at auction at €50,000-70,000. In order to make these prints, Sugimoto uses a camera inspired by the 19th century, a traditional photographic device which uses a generator to capture the flashing lights that he transposes onto his film.
Sale « Hiroshi Sugimoto Photographs : The Fossilization of Time » : Tuesday 8 November 2018, 6 pm.
Sale « Photographies » : Tuesday 8 November 2018, 3 pm.
Exhibition : Saturday 3 November de 10h à 18h, Monday 5, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7, 10 am-6pm and Thursday 8 November, 10 am-12am.
Christie’s : 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris.