Joseph Kraeutler on Why You Should Be Excited About artnet Auctions’s New ‘Premier Photographs’ sale

The head of artnet Auctions's Photography department explains how he drew upon years of experience in the auction world to assemble an exceptional sale.

Martin Schoeller's Angelina with Blood (2000). Chromogenic print (c-print) 39.8 x 31.9 in. (101.09 x 81.03 cm.) Edition of 7 $30,000 – 50,000

Years ago, I had the estimable job of overseeing the photography auctions at Phillips de Pury, much as I do now for artnet Auctions. This experience taught me the importance of including high-profile and desirable works in our sales. Not only does the quality of these artworks speak for itself, these lots create buzz among collectors and the trade, bringing more attention to the sale as a whole. It follows that access to pieces by the world’s most-prized artists produces better results, and naturally garners the interest of leading collectors globally, generating greater competition with stronger results.

Additionally, during my years as a gallery owner, I noticed a growing trend of transactions being made by phone and email. As clients became familiar with the artists I represented and my program, more and more sales took place via jpegs, without buyers visiting the gallery or viewing the works in person. I rarely heard any complaints once a work was delivered, if ever. A shift in sales from traditional, in-person purchases to online instant access was apparent. Collectors can now research an artist’s market, share images with trusted parties, and make a more strategic decision about what they choose to invest in. This is unequivocally the direction the art market is moving today.

When I joined the team at artnet Auctions last September, one of my primary goals was to change my colleagues’ perceptions of our sales. By integrating the methods that I developed in my years at brick-and-mortar auction houses with the unparalleled worldwide reach of artnet’s online sales, my goal is to make the most important photographs available to every collector (not solely those who are able to travel to New York for the peak auction weeks). My talented team in artnet Auctions’s Photographs department embraced these shifts in thought and practice, and remain instrumental in building our sales. I am pleased to announce that for 2018 we are now introducing our “Premier Photographs” sale as the newest addition to our regular bimonthly online auctions. The sale will take place online during New York’s marquee photography auction week, and coincide with the AIPAD art fair.

In the “Premier Photographs” sale (on through April 11th), you can see a selection of carefully curated and thoughtfully priced works from the top talent in the medium of photography. We are also organizing a cocktail reception on April 3rd where collectors will have an opportunity to view some of these works in person. Private viewings of these works are available during the same week. Some exciting Highlights from this sale include:


Gilbert & George’s Moonstruck (2004). Hand-dyed gelatin silver prints 83.5 x 99.25 in. (212.09 x 252.1 cm.) $70,000 – 90,000

Richard Prince’s Untitled (Four women with hats) (1980).
Ektacolor prints
20 x 24 in. each (50.8 x 61 cm. each)
Edition of 10
$350,000 – 450,000

Elger Esser’s Metz I Frankreich (2010).
Chromogenic Print, Diasec mounted
56 x 72.5 in. (142.24 x 184.15 cm.)
Edition 1/7
$25,000 – 35,000

Andy Warhol’s Photographs (complete portfolio of 12 works) (1980).
Gelatin silver prints
Approx. 15 x 20 in. each (40.1 x 50.8 cm. each)
$80,000 – 120,000

Cindy Sherman’s Film Still #55 (1980).
Gelatin silver print
7.5 x 9.3 inches
Edition of 10
$180,000 – 250,000

Carolee Schneemann’s Interior Scroll (1975).
60 x 40 in. (152.4 x 101.6 cm.)
Printed 2003
Edition 8/15
$15,000 – 25,000


Joseph Kraeutler, a veteran art dealer and auction specialist, is the head of artnet Auctions‘s photography department. 

Joseph Kraeuter. ©Patrick McMullan; photo by Shaun Mader.

Joseph Kraeutler. ©Patrick McMullan; photo by Shaun Mader.

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