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Art Market Watch
Oct. 16, 2007 

TOP PRICES FOR PHOTOGRAPHY 2007
With prices for contemporary art surging into eight and nine figures, photography has become completely at home in the million-dollar club, with eight photographers now having auction records of $1 million or more. Five of the eight record prices are for works are by contemporary artists and three are by classic American photographers.

Andreas Gursky’s 99 Cent II holds the top record of $3,346,457. As it is in an edition of six, and another print from the edition sold not long before for $2,480,000, it is conceivable that one day each of the six exemplars could account for the top six highest prices on record for photographs sold at auction. Doing the math, it seems that Gursky’s image of well-stocked candy-store shelves is worth at least $18 million total, which is real money in almost anyone’s business.

The five contemporary photographers -- Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Richard Prince and Piotr Uklanski, along with Gursky -- have the advantage, along with other photographer-artists, of seeing their works included not in the photo sales but in the much bigger-ticket contemporary art auctions, where cash is lavishly strewn about in vast amounts with often questionable discernment.

The pioneering modernist photographers, such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Edward S. Curtis, have to make do in the photography auctions, where the top of the market is still much more an arena for connoisseurs (as opposed to hedge-fund speculators and arrivistes salivating after the latest fashion), where the exuberance may well be more rational.

Herewith, in honor of 99 Cent II, we give you the top 99 photographer’s records at auction. The data is compiled from Artnet’s signature Fine Arts Auction Data base.

-- Christopher Sweet

Rank

Price

Artist

Work

Venue

date

1

$3,346,457

Andreas Gursky

99 Cent II

Sotheby’s London

2/7/2007

2

$2,928,000

Edward Steichen

The Pond - Moonlight

Sotheby’s New York

2/14/2006

3

$2,850,000

Richard Prince

Cowboy

Christie’s New York

05/16/2007

4

$2,112,000

Cindy Sherman

Untitled No. 92

Christie’s New York

5/16/2007

5

$1,888,000

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Black Sea, Yellow Sea, Red Sea

Christie’s New York

5/16/2007

6

$1,472,000

Alfred Stieglitz

Georgia O'Keeffe (Hands)

Sotheby’s New York

2/14/2006

7

$1,416,000

Edward Sheriff Curtis

The North American Indian portfolios

Christie’s New York

10/12/2005

8

$1,105,000

Edward Weston

Natuilus

Sotheby’s New York

10/15/2007

9

$1,071,698

Piotr Uklanski

The Nazis (set of 164)

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

10/14/2006

10

$992,000

John Baldessari

Kiss/Panic

Sotheby’s New York

5/15/2007

11

$987,826

Sigmar Polke

Untitled (10 works)

Christie’s London

2/8/2006

12

$916,126

J.P.Girault de Prangey

113. Athènes. 1842.

Christie’s London

5/20/2003

13

$902,767

Thomas Struth

National Museum of Art, Tokyo

Sotheby’s London

6/21/2007

14

$856,000

Gilbert & George

Red morning (Hate)

Christie’s New York

11/8/2005

15

$838,704

Gustave Le Gray

Grande vague - Séte

Sotheby’s London

10/27/1999

16

$822,400

Dorothea Lange

White Angel Bread Line

Sotheby’s New York

10/11/2005

17

$688,000

Mike Kelley

Ahh. . . Youth (8 works)

Christie’s New York

5/9/2006

18

$643,200

Robert Mapplethorpe

Andy Warhol

Christie’s New York

10/17/2006

19

$623,000

Robert Frank

Trolley, New Orleans

Christie’s New York

10/17/2007

20

$609,600

Ansel Adams

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico

Sotheby’s New York

10/17/2006

21

$607,500

Man Ray

Noire et Blanche, Paris

Christie’s New York

10/5/1998

22

$607,500

Charles Sheeler

Ford Works

Sotheby’s New York

10/6/1999

23

$607,500

Paul Strand

Mullein, Maine

Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg

4/15/2002

24

$553,600

Diane Arbus

Portfolio of 10

Sotheby’s New York

4/27/2005

25

$534,400

Charles Ray

No

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

11/8/2004

26

$533,750

Bruce Nauman

Light Trap for Henry Moore

Sotheby’s New York

5/17/2000

27

$492,000

Carleton E. Watkins

The Garrison, Columbia River

Sotheby’s New York

4/25/2007

28

$464,000

André Kertész

Chez Mondrian

Sotheby’s New York

10/10/2005

29

$464,000

Richard Avedon

The Beatles (Set of 4)

Christie’s New York

10/10/2005

30

$452,555

Giulio Paolini

Lo Studio

Christie’s Milan

5/21/2007

31

$438,770

August Sander

Handlanger, porteur de briques

Sotheby’s London

10/27/1999

32

$434,457

Charles Marville

Édicules et éclairages

Sotheby’s London

5/17/2005

33

$408,645

Anna Atkins

British Algae

Christie’s London

5/19/2004

34

$406,455

Irving Penn

Harlequin Dress

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

6/22/2007

35

$405,500

Rineke Dijkstra

Hilton Head Island

Christie’s New York

5/14/2002

36

$400,000

Matthew Barney

Cremaster 5: The Queen’s Menagerie

Sotheby’s New York

11/9/2004

37

$396,893

Roger Fenton

The Billiard Room, Mentmore

Sotheby’s London

5/10/2001

38

$390,000

Morton Schamberg

God

Christie’s New York

2/14/2007

39

$387,500

Southworth & Hawes

Two Women Posed with a Chair

Sotheby’s New York

4/27/1999

40

$380,726

Helmut Newton

Big Nude III, Paris

Christie’s London

5/31/2007

41

$374,400

Gerhard Richter

Ema

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

11/16/2006

42

$374,400

Paul Outerbridge Jr.

Marmon Crankshaft

Sotheby’s New York

2/14/2006

43

$365,900

Alvin Langdon Coburn

Shadows and Reflection, Venice

Christie’s New York

4/27/2004

44

$361,000

Imogen Cunningham

Tower of Jewels

Sotheby’s New York

10/15/2007

45

$351,150

Jeff Wall

The Crooked Path

Christie’s London

10/23/2005

46

$334,728

Olafur Eliasson

The Fault Series (32 works)

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

6/22/2007

47

$318,400

Wang Qingsong

Follow Me

Sotheby’s New York

9/20/2006

48

$312,000

Alexander Rodchenko

Sokolniki Park, Winter, Hockey

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

4/24/2007

49

$312,000

Frantisek Drtikol

Snezna vlna (Snow wave)

Sotheby’s New York

4/25/2007

50

$307,200

Walker Evans

Alabama Tenant Farmer

Sotheby’s New York

2/15/2006

51

$297,053

László Moholy-Nagy

Berlin im Winter

Sotheby’s London

5/4/2000

52

$296,599

Pierre Charles Simart

Untitled

Sotheby’s Paris

3/21/2002

53

$296,599

Edouard-Denis Baldus

Façade d'un hôtel

Sotheby’s Paris

3/21/2002

54

$288,000

Eugène Cuvelier

Village de Rivière

Sotheby’s New York

4/13/2007

55

$288,000

Horst P. Horst

Mainbocher Corset, Paris

Christie’s New York

4/23/2007

56

$284,500

Nan Goldin

Thanksgiving

Christie’s New York

5/14/2002

57

$277,500

Herbert Bayer

Self Portrait

Christie’s New York

10/4/1999

58

$277,164

Charles Nègre

Le Stryge

Sotheby’s Paris

3/22/2002

59

$277,000

Peter Beard

Hog Ranch

Sotheby’s New York

10/15/2007

60

$265,866

Thibault

Rue St. Maur, Paris, June 1848

Sotheby’s London

5/9/2002

61

$264,000

Adi Nes

Untitled

Sotheby’s New York

2/27/2007

62

$262,400

Thomas Demand

Collection

Christie’s New York

5/5/2006

63

$260,000

Linnaeus Tripe

Burma Views (112 works)

Swann Galleries

5/18/2006

64

$253,900

William Eggleston

Memphis

Christie’s New York

10/15/2004

65

$253,388

Lewis Carroll

Alice Liddell as the Beggar Maid

Sotheby’s London

6/6/2001

66

$252,000

El Lissitzky

Portrait of Kurt Schwitters

Christie’s New York

2/14/2007

67

$252,000

Jaromir Funke

Composition

Sotheby’s New York

4/25/2007

68

$248,930

Andreas Ritter von Ettingshausen

Section of Clematis, 1840

Christie’s London

5/19/2004

69

$248,012

Henri-Victor Regnault

Bords de la Seine à Sevres

Sotheby’s Paris

3/21/2002

70

$247,969

Julia Margaret Cameron

Kate Keown, No.5

Sotheby’s London

5/10/2001

71

$243,200

Peter Weiss

Stiller Nachmittag (11prints)

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

11/8/2004

72

$241,776

Robert Doisneau

Le baiser de l'Hôtel de Ville

Artcurial Briest Le Fur Poulain F. Tajan

4/25/2005

73

$240,000

Adalbert Cuvelier

Along the Scarpe River, near Arras

Sotheby’s New York

4/13/2007

74

$236,750

Bob Seidemann

The Airplane as Art

Sotheby’s New York

10/12/2000

75

$235,764

Horatio Ross

The Scottish Highlands

Sotheby’s London

5/2/1997

76

$228,832

Hippolyte Bayard

Chateau

Christie’s South Kensington

5/5/2000

77

$228,000

Margrethe Mather

Pierrot

Sotheby’s New York

2/14/2006

78

$226,415

Frank Hurley

The Weddell Sea Party

Christie’s London

9/27/2006

79

$224,409

Zhang Huan

Family Tree (in 9 parts)

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

2/6/2007

80

$223,895

Anselm Kiefer

Kirke

Villa Grisebach Auktionen

6/9/2007

81

$220,800

Marc Chagall

Cirque (set of 38, 23 in color)

Sotheby’s New York

10/29/2004

82

$220,000

Henri Le Secq

French Ecclesiastical Architecture

Sotheby’s New York

4/26/1990

83

$216,000

Chuck Close

Self-Portrait

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

4/24/2007

84

$216,000

Dora Maar

Père Ubu

Sotheby’s New York

2/14/2006

85

$216,000

Pierre Dubreuil

The First Round

Sotheby’s New York

10/11/2005

86

$216,000

Tina Modotti

Hands of the Puppeteer, Mexico

Phillips, de Pury & Co.

4/26/2006

87

$214,776

Andres Serrano

Red Pope I-III (triptych)

Cornette de Saint-Cyr

3/31/2007

88

$209,143

Edgar Degas

Taschereau, Degas et Blanche

Sotheby’s Paris

3/21/2002

89

$205,000

Lewis Hine

Worker, Empire State Building

Sotheby’s New York

10/15/2007

90

$204,000

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Untitled (Sand)

Sotheby’s New York

5/16/2007

91

$204,000

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Italy

Christie’s New York

2/14/2007

92

$204,000

Yayoi Kusama

Accumulation of Nets

Christie’s New York

3/16/2006

93

$203,228

Thomas Ruff

Substrat 10 III

Christie’s London

6/21/2007

94

$202,713

William Henry Fox Talbot

Plant Impression

Sotheby’s London

5/4/2000

95

$201,926

Joan Miró

Homme moustachu et sculpture

Tajan

5/24/2007

96

$198,060

Sarah Lucas

Fighting Fire with Fire Six Pack

Christie’s London

2/8/2001

97

$198,000

Eugène Atget

Etang de Corot, Ville d'Avray

Sotheby’s New York

4/25/2007

98

$197,861

Hans Bellmer

La poupée

Calmels Cohen

4/15/2003

99

$196,500

Pierre et Gilles

La Madone au coeur blessé - Lio

Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg

11/13/2003

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