Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 9:00AM
The world of photography galleries and the fine art photography genre is glamorous, competitive, and lucrative. Attracting record sales, the space is heating up considerably. According to Francis Outred, Christie's Head of Post War and Contemporary Art Europe, there will be an uptick in photography setting new auction sales records. Here are his comments after Andreas Gursky's 1999 "Rhein II" (see photo above) sold for a record $4.3 million in November 2011, making it the most expensive photograph to date.
Photography has progressed rapidly over the past 170 years, but most dramatically in the last thirty years with the adaptation of large scale, full color images, so that the masterpieces of today stand up against most of their historical predecessors. As such, their scale, presentation, and concepts make the best works outstanding works of art which stand up against anything in history. In my opinion, this price will come to be seen as extremely reasonable in future.
Here are the highest prices paid for fine art photography (per Wikipedia):
Andreas Gursky, Rhein II (1999), $4,338,500, November 8, 2011, Christie's New York (top photo).
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #96 (1981), $3,890,500, May 2011, Christie's New York.
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.
Edward Steichen, The Pond-Moonlight (1904), $2,928,000, February 2006, Sotheby's New York auction.