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Phillips Announces Exclusive Representation of Annie Leibovitz

Following Christie’s and Sotheby’s recent ventures into the primary market for contemporary art, auctioneer Phillips de Pury & Company has announced it will exclusively represent noted photographer Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949).

NEW YORK—Following Christie’s and Sotheby’s recent ventures into the primary market for contemporary art, auctioneer Phillips de Pury & Company has announced it will exclusively represent noted photographer Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949). The auction house will be showing master sets of recent and older work by the artist at its London exhibition space Oct. 22–Nov. 17.

The show will feature 24 large-format (50-by-60-inch) master sets of Leibovitz’s most renowned images, published in editions of seven and priced at $25,000 apiece. Her regular-size (11-by-14-inch) images will also be represented by the auctioneer, in editions of 40 and priced at $4,500. A spokesperson for Phillips said that Leibovitz has produced 200 ¬master-set editions, and that this exhibition will be the first in a series in which all or most of them are to be shown.

Phillips has exhibited the work of other contemporary artists, designers and jewelry makers, and the auctioneer currently represents the estates of photographers Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton. However, Leibovitz will be the first living artist the auction house represents.

Phillips has also partnered with London dealer Robilant + Voena to mount a selling exhibition of new paintings by Julian Schnabel at the Saatchi Gallery’s new headquarters (Oct. 9–Jan. 18). The seven paintings are being shown concurrently with the Saatchi Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art.”

Phillips’s recent forays into the primary market follow similar moves by Christie’s, which bought the London contemporary-art gallery Haunch of Venison early last year, and Sotheby’s, which held a two-day auction of 223 new works by British artist Damien Hirst in London last month (ANL, 9/30/08).

Leibovitz, who had been represented since 1998 by New York dealer Edwynn Houk, has created a number of iconic and sometimes controversial images, including one of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken the day the former Beatle was fatally shot in December 1980 (the image was used on the January 22, 1981 cover of Rolling Stone) and a recent shot of teen idol Miley Cyrus swathed in a sheet for Vanity Fair.

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