Brown Sisters, Nixon, 2014
One of the most iconic continuing photographic series of the 20th and 21st centuries, The Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon opens 1st April at Sotheby’s New York. Complete sets of The Brown Sisters are extremely rare and have appeared at auction only twice before. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, recently staged an exhibition of its complete set in the museum lobby to popular and critical acclaim. Other highlights at the auction include: Lee Friedlander’s iconic The Little Screens, presented in a selection of 38 photographs.
Nicholas Nixon shot the first portrait of his wife Bebe, then 25, along with her sisters Heather, Laurie, and Mimi in 1975, and went on to recreate a version of the portrait every year since. The captivating work of conceptual art has continued to document the four sisters’ evolution through the years. During the series the sisters have been captured on a backdrop of historic moments in American culture including shots taken at Woodstock. There are around fifteen institutions and almost ten private collectors who have complete sets of prints and continue to acquire the new one upon issue each year. This body of work comes directly from the collection of one of the West Coast’s most significant art collectors, Mrs. Mary Robinson who, along with her late husband David, has donated a significant collection of 150 early photographs to the National Gallery of Art. The set of 40 photographs here are offered as a single lot and are estimated to fetch $200/300,000.
Other pieces being presented at the auction include works by László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Frantisek Drtikol, and Pierre Dubreuil which exemplify European Modernism. As well as, classic fashion and portraiture by Richard Avedon’s including Marilyn Monroe and The Chicago Seven, along with Irving Penn’s Rock Groups (San Francisco). Contemporary works by Francesca Woodman, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Sultan, Helena Almeida, Shirin Neshat, and Olafur Eliasson are also featured at the auction. Sotheby’s Bid Now program enables all auctions to be streamed live online and visitors are able to place bids in real-time from anywhere in the world.
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