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Sheila Metzner (American, b.1939)
LOT ID: 78733
Borneo Girl, 1985

Other, Fresson print
24.5 х 16 in. (62.23 x 40.64 cm.)
Signed, lower left recto, and embossed with printer's blindstamp, center of lower margin, recto. Signed, dated with verification that print is unique on verso. Inscribed, "For my Richard, with love Sheila" on verso.
Print/Casting Year 1987
Edition unique
Lot description
Printed in 1987. Image size is 24.5 x 16.5 inches (62.23 x 41.91 cm). Sheet size is 32 x 24 inches (81.28 x 60.96 cm).

Sheila Metzner has worked in several genres – fashion, still life, landscape and portraiture – rendered in her signature, evocative style. Her photographs share a stylistic unity, as each is imbued with a sensual romanticism, conveyed by soft patinas and rich, deep tones. Joko, Passion is an example of her haute couture photography from her years at Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Metzner is well known for her use of the Fresson printing process "tirage au charbon," a rare method of color printing developed in France in 1900, which renders characteristically diffused images, reminiscent of pointillism, with remarkable tonal range and color saturation. The Fresson process is carried out by hand by the descendants of the inventor - Metzner is one of only ten American photographers with whom they have chosen to collaborate. The process uses layered oil pigments in gelatin and requires between four to seven separate negatives, yielding luminous, glowing colors. Prints are developed in a solution of water and sawdust, which creates a softened, painterly effect.

Born in Brooklyn in 1939, Sheila Metzner studied visual communications and worked as a commercial art director for several years before her photographs came to the attention of the art world following her inclusion in the 1978 landmark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art entitled “Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960,” selected by celebrated curator John Szarkowski. Following the exhibition at MoMA, her work was the subject of several solo gallery shows, which led to commissioned editorial work for Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone and commercial work for clients such as Valentino, Perry Ellis, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, and Elizabeth Arden, among others.

Sheila Metzner’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography and the Brooklyn Museum, among other institutions and private collections. Her work has been on view in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris, the Kunstforum Landerbank in Austria, the Royal College of Art in London and a solo exhibition at the International Center of Photography. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Art Director’s Hall of Fame, the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography and the Ansel Adams Award for Book Photography. Metzner is the author of four monographs: Objects of Desire (Polaroid/Clarkson N. Potter); Sheila Metzner’s Color (Twin Palms); Inherit the Earth (Bullfinch Press); and Form and Fashion (Arena Press). [SVA]
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Borneo Girl by Sheila Metzner
  • Borneo Girl by Sheila Metzner
  • Borneo Girl by Sheila Metzner
  • Borneo Girl by Sheila Metzner
  • Borneo Girl by Sheila Metzner
  • Borneo Girl by Sheila Metzner
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Sheila Metzner

    Joko, passion
    fresson print
    (H 16.4, W 24.6) in.
    (41.6 x 62.6) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,585
    Saturday, November 19, 2011
    Heritage Auctions New York
    Lot 74168
  • Sheila Metzner

    Portrait (from Life series)
    Fresson print
    (H 27.2, W 18.2) in.
    (69.2 x 46.4) cm.
    Sold for: US$1,195
    Monday, May 2, 2011
    Heritage Auctions New York
    Lot 74151
  • Sheila Metzner

    Fendi olives and black dress (from Life)
    fresson print
    (H 24.5, W 16.2) in.
    (62.2 x 41.3) cm.
    Sold for: US$1,793
    Friday, December 3, 2010
    Heritage Auctions New York
    Lot 74160
  • Sheila Metzner

    Fendi, the kiss
    photographs, other
    (H 16.4, W 24.6) in.
    (41.7 x 62.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,220
    Tuesday, June 29, 2010
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 27603
  • Sheila Metzner

    Black tulip
    photographs, other
    (H 24.9, W 16.8) in.
    (63.2 x 42.5) cm.
    Ed. 40
    Sold for: US$3,476
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009
    artnet Auctions
    Lot 18070
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