Photographs / Phillips London - Thursday 03 November 2016


30 Berkeley Square, London W1J 6EN


Thursday 03 November 2016 2pm GMT


28 October – 3 November
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm 
Sunday 12pm-6pm

Online Catalogue

Phillips presents its auction of Photographs on 3rd November, 2016 with 127 lots, of which 19 lots are from the collection of Georges Bermann. 

Phillips is proud to offer the photography collection of renowned video and film producer Georges Bermann on 3 November 2016 in London. Assembled over the past 20 years, and including important works by many of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries, the collection reflects the distinct, cinematic eye of Georges Bermann, a visual pioneer celebrated for his music, advert and film production. The collection will be offered in the auction of Photographs and comprises 19 lots including outstanding works by Richard Avedon, William Eggleston, Nick Knight, Annie Leibovitz, Dennis Hopper, Seydou Keïta and Guido Mocafico, among others. Individual estimates range from £4,000 to £80,000.

The illustrious career of Georges Bermann, one of the world’s most influential producers, was born of his combined love for photography, cinema and music. Georges started his production company Partizan in the mid-1980s, his head full of dreams about combining his three passions. In 1994, he produced the now iconic Levi’s commercial ‘Drugstore’, directed by his longtime creative partner Michel Gondry and created by the world famous advertising agency BBH. ‘Drugstore’, which referenced American photographers Walker Evans and O. Winston Link, became the most awarded commercial of all time and propelled his then small company into a global leader in advertising and music video productions. Partizan gave shape to such groundbreaking music videos as Bjork’s ‘Human Behaviour’, Daf Punk’s ‘Around the World’, White Stripe’s ‘Seven Nation Army’ and many more. Throughout his career, Georges has enjoyed spotting and fostering new talents, many of whom have developed into today’s top filmmakers. His many notable films include the Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Be kind rewind (2008) and Moonwalkers (2015).

Georges’s passion for collecting photography developed alongside his professional career and his exceptional photography collection – highlights from which are offered here – includes works by 20th century masters as well as works by celebrated and emerging contemporary artists. His first love was Irving Penn and his first acquisition on the back of a job was Penn’s Lipstick Chunks, New York, 1982, at a time when the photography market was still in its infancy.

Next came Richard Avedon, followed by William Eggleston and Robert Mapplethorpe. These greats were later joined by contemporary image-makers, many of whom were little known at the time their work entered his collection, including Nick Knight, Guido Mocafco, Pieter Hugo and Taryn Simon, to name a few. Cinematic references inform Georges’s collection as seen in the works by Stanley Kubrick and Dennis Hopper to Annie Leibovitz’s photograph of R2-D2 and Pieter Hugo’s image of Nollywood. In such visually arresting portraits as Richard Avedon’s Blue Cloud Wright, slaughterhouse worker, and Nick Knight’s Kate, the subjects – like characters in a film – stare out at the viewer and command our gaze. Highland Park, a photograph of a muscle car in fight by Matthew Porter, who is appearing at auction for the first time, resembles a film still – a scene suspended in time.

The featured works from Georges’s collection represent the culmination of over 25 years of collecting. A true visionary, Georges approached collecting photography in the same way as signing a filmmaker, relying on his instinct and his keen eye: “Everything I do comes from instinct – one feeling, in one direction, with the same rhythm.” Driven by a life-long fascination with the pulse of life, its mysteries and constant transformations, Georges’s unique vision is apparent in each of the following works. This sale presents collectors a unique opportunity to acquire iconic photographs by 20th century masters as well as contemporary works that are destined to become 21st century icons.

For more information on upcoming lots, and to register for bidding please contact:

Genevieve Janvrin
Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4092

Phillips Photography Department website 


Details of the highlighted lots featured at right:

Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990
Chromogenic print, Diasec mounted.
Image: 136.8 x 175 cm (53 7/8 x 68 7/8 in.) Frame: 187.3 x 222.5 cm (73 3/4 x 87 5/8 in.)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered 1/10 twice in pencil on the verso.
This work is number 1 from the sold-out edition of 10.
Estimate: £100,000 – 150,000  ♠
Sold for: £635,000


Untitled, 1956-1957
Gelatin silver print, flush-mounted, printed 1998.
Image: 141.8 x 100.5 cm (55 7/8 x 39 5/8 in.) Frame: 167.6 x 120.7 cm (65 7/8 x 47 1/2 in.)
Signed twice and dated in ink in the margin. One from an edition of 2.
Estimate: £20,000 – 30,000 
Sold for: £35,000


Double Standard, 1961
Gelatin silver print, printed later.
50.9 x 76.1 cm (20 x 29 7/8 in.)
Signed, dated and numbered 3/8 in pencil on the verso.
Estimate: £15,000 – 20,000 
Sold for: £66,250


Kate, 2008
Hand-coated pigment print, flush-mounted.
Image/Sheet: 101.6 x 76.2 cm (40 x 30 in.) Frame: 104.5 x 79.1 cm (41 1/8 x 31 1/8 in.)
Signed in ink, printed title, date and number 1/10 on an artist label affixed to the reverse of the frame. Accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity.
Estimate: £35,000 – 45,000  ♠
Sold for: £60,000