New York – On March 31, Christie’s will present the sale of Leaves Of Light And Shadow: Photographs Gathered By William T. Hillman, comprising 117 works judiciously acquired by William Hillman over the past three decades. With a sophisticated eye and tremendous dedication to photography, Mr. Hillman has built a comprehensive collection by pursuing consummate examples from top photographers spanning the history of the medium. In Hillman’s dedication to both photography and his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his primary mission over the past three decades has been to build a world-class collection that will ultimately be gifted to the Carnegie Museum of Art. “There are gaps in the vintage acquisitions and the need to support and strengthen the contemporary component of this endeavor,” Mr. Hillman has stated. Hillman personally designated each work being presented for sale, and will reinvest the funds raised by the auction back into his mission.
The top lot of the auction is Waitress in a Nudist Camp, N.J., 1963 by Diane Arbus (estimate: $200,000-300,000).
Additional Highlights include:
HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy, 1933, gelatin silver print | Estimate: $100,000-150,000
- Piazza della Signoria, Florence was one of Henri Cartier Bresson's favorite images. He included it in his first solo exhibition in 1933 and his last retrospective in 2003, as well as in his first monograph The Decisive Moment in 1952, and his last monograph in 2005.
BERND & HILLA BECHER, Blast Furnaces, Frontal Views, 1979-1986, 9 gelatin silver prints | Estimate: $80,000-120,000
- The photographic work of husband and wife team Bernd and Hilla Becher was first exhibited in the United States in the seminal exhibition New Topographics, an exhibition that has proven a touchstone for many artists of the last half of the 20th century.
- The Bechers directly influenced the next generation of contemporary photographers, most notably Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth.
- The Present work was commissioned from the artists by William Hillman.
WILLIAM EGGLESTON, Untitled, 1970, archival pigment print Estimate: $80,000-120,000
- The present lot was made in the small downtown of Morton, Mississippi (pop. 3,482) and was selected for inclusion in Szarkowski's landmark exhibition, “William Eggleston's Guide” at MoMA New York, in 1976.
- Embracing the technological advances in printing techniques, Eggleston choase it in 2012 as one of thirty-six works printed on a larger scale than would be possible with the dye-transfer process, with which Eggleston is more commonly associated.
PAUL OUTERBRIDGE, JR., The Piano, 1926, platinum print | Estimate: $80,000 – $120,000
- At the Clarence H. White School of Photography, where he enrolled in 1921, Outerbridge was instructed by his teacher Max Weber to infuse ‘brisk modernity’ into his work through experimentation with light, form and vantage point.
- Outerbridge’s small and lush platinum prints of the 1920s such as “Piano” — exquisite manipulations of space, light and mass — are indicative of his singular and conceptual response to this counsel.
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