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    Sale 2120

    Photographs By Ansel Adams From A California Collection

    11 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1004

    ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)

    Lake Precipice, 'Frozen Lake and Cliffs', Kaweah Gap, Sierra Nevada, 1932

    Price Realised  


    ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
    Lake Precipice, 'Frozen Lake and Cliffs', Kaweah Gap, Sierra Nevada, 1932
    gelatin silver mural print, printed 1970-1975
    title in ink and 'Carmel' credit stamp (on the reverse of the flush-mount); 'Ansel Adams' credit label affixed (on the frame backing)
    24½ x 31¼in. (62.5 x 79.5cm.)

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    Saleroom Notice

    Neutral toned print on semi-matte paper; trimmed to edges and flush-mounted on thick board. Two small scratches/abrasions (retouched) at upper edge, visible in raking light only. A quite extraordinary, oversized print in very good condition.

    Pre-Lot Text

    'I made this photograph while on the annual [Sierra] Club outing in the Kaweah and Kern River watersheds, in many ways the most spectacular region of the Sierra. On the long trek from Giant Forest over Kaweah Gap the trail passes Precipice Lake (not officially so named at the time), which lies at the base of Eagle Scout Peak. The lake was partially frozen and snowbanks rested in the recesses of the cliffs. I was impressed with the solemn beauty of the scene and saw the image quite clearly in my mind.
    Many speak of this image as abstract, but I was not conscious of any such definition at the time. I prefer the term extract over abstract, since I cannot change the optical realities, but manage them in relation to themselves and the format...I believe I was able to express in this photograph the monumental qualities of the subject that I responded to so intensely at first sight.' (Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs)


    Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Little Brown and Company, 1983, p. 10; Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100, Little Brown and Company, 2001, pl. 32; Newhall, The Eloquent Light, Sierra Club, 1963, pp. 168-169; Ansel Adams: Yosemite and the Range of Light, New York Graphic Society, 1979, pl. 27