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Artnet Top Ten
4/25/03


The market for photography as an art form has come a long way in the last several decades. Pictures that were once sold for less than $100, or even casually thrown away, are now hot properties on the auction market. Though the million-dollar photograph is yet to appear at auction, it seems sure to come. In the meantime, the Artnet Top Ten presents the ten photographers whose works have sold for the highest prices at auction, presented in conjunction with the spring photo sales in New York. (We've omitted the albums by Edward S. Curtis and Charles Marville that achieved high prices in these sales.) As always, the results are taken from Artnet's signature Fine Art Auctions Database; subscriptions begin at $29.95 (for more info, go to member services).
       
 
     
 
1.
Gustave le Gray (1820-1882)
Grande vague -- séte
ca. 1855
albumen print, ca. 14 x 16 in.
inscribed, stamped
£507,500 ($838,704)
(est. £40,000-£60,000)
Sotheby's London
Oct. 27, 1999
Note: Two other photos by le Gray sold at the same auction, for £419,500 and £386,500, snagging the top three places on the list.
 
     
 
2.
Andreas Gursky (b. 1955)
Untitled V (with Nina Pohl)
1997
C print, 73 x 174 in., edition of six
signed, inscribed
£432,750 ($611,229)
(est. £150,000-£200,000)
Christie's London
Feb. 6, 2002
Note: In a top ten listing by price, Gursky photos have the fourth and ninth slots.
 
     
 
3.
Man Ray (1890-1976)
Noire et blanche, Paris
1926
gelatin silver print, ca. 9 x 11 in.
stamped
$607,500
(est. $600,000-$800,000)
Christie's New York
Oct. 5, 1998
 
     
 
4.
Charles Sheeler (1883-1965)
Ford Works (Criss-crossed Conveyors, Ford Plant)
1928
gelatin silver print, ca. 10 x 8 in.
inscribed, stamped
$607,500
(est. $150,000-$250,000)
Sotheby's New York
Oct. 6, 1999
 
     
 
5.
Paul Strand (1890-1976)
Mullein, Maine
1927
platinum print, 10 x ca. 8 in.
signed, inscribed
$607,500
(est. $250,000-$350,000)
Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg
Apr. 15, 2002
 
     
 
6.
Bruce Nauman (b. 1941)
Light Trap for Henry Moore, No. 1
1967
black & white photograph, 64 x 40 in.
unique
$533,750
(est. $250,000-$350,000)
Sotheby's New York
May 17, 2000
 
     
 
7.
August Sander (1876-1964)
Handlanger, porteur de briques
1927
gelatin silver print, ca. 10 x 8 in.
signed, inscribed, stamped
£265,000 ($438,770)
(est. £20,000-£30,000)
Sotheby's London
Oct. 27, 1999
 
     
 
8.
Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946)
From the Back Window -- 291 -- N.Y., January
1917
platinum print, ca. 9 x 7 in.
signed, inscribed
$420,500
(est. $120,000-$180,000)
Sotheby's New York
Oct. 6, 1999
 
     
 
9.
Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959)
Hilton Head Island, S.C., USA, June 24, 1992
1992-96
C-print, ca. 75 x 61 in., set of six
$405,500
(est. $120,000-$180,000)
Christie's New York
May 14, 2002
 
     
 
10.
Edward Steichen (1879-1973)
In Memoriam
1904
gum bichromate heightened with color, ca. 19 x 14 in.
signed
£243,500 ($402,412)
(est. £40,000-£60,000)
Sotheby's London
Oct. 27, 1999