PARIS.- 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 105 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
Lot 205. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sea of Japan, Rebun Island, 1996. Tirage argentique, monté sur support, 119.2 x 148.5 cm. Estimate: € 200,000-300,000 . © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.
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.
Lot 206. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Five elements : Bass Strait, Table Cape, 2011, sculpture, verre optique et film noir et blanc, 15.2 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm. (6 x 3 x 3 in.). Estimate: € 45,000-65,000. © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.
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.
Lot 209. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Brooklyn Bridge, 2001, tirage argentique, monté sur support, signé à l'encre argenté sur une étiquette du photographe portant le titre, la date et le numéro d'édition '2/5' (dos du cadre); image/feuille/montage: 148.5 x 119.2 cm. (58 ¾ x 47 in.) Ce tirage est le numéro deux d'une édition de cinq exemplaires. Estimate: € 120,000-180,000. © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.
Lot 210. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 2000, tirage argentique, monté sur support cartonné, signé au crayon (montage, recto), timbre sec numéroté '18/25' '953' (marge); image: 58.5 x 47 cm. (23 x 18 ½ in.) ; feuille: 60.3 x 49.5 cm. (23 ¾ x 19 ½ in.); montage: 63.6 x 50.8 cm. (25 x 20 in.) Ce tirage est le numéro dix-huit d'une édition de vingt-cinq exemplaires. Estimate: € 12,000-18,000. © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.
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.
Lot 207. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bust of Venus, November 26, 1840, 2007, tirage argentique viré, monté sur support, signé à l'encre argenté sur une étiquette du photographe portant le titre, la date et le numéro d'édition '1/10' 'Negative 21.024' (dos du cadre);image: 89 x 56 cm. (35 x 22 in.), feuille/montage: 93 x 75 cm. (36 7/8 x 29 ½ in.) Ce tirage est le numéro un d'une édition de dix exemplaires. Estimate: € 30,000-40,000. © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.
One of his other famous series, "Lightning fields" will be offered through a 2009 snapshot, Lightning Fields #128, estimated 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
Lot 203. Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields #128, 2009, tirage argentique, monté sur support, signé à l'encre argenté sur une étiquette du photographe portant le titre, la date et le numéro d'édition '5/5' (dos du cadre), image/feuille/montage: 148.5 x 119.2 cm. (58 ¾ x 47 in.) Ce tirage est le numéro cinq d'une édition de cinq exemplaires. Estimate: € 50,000-70,000. © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.