LARRY FINK (1941–2023)
Pat Sabatine's Eighth Birthday Party, 1977
gelatin silver print, printed 1981
signed, dated [with print date], and printing notations in pencil (verso)
image: 14 x 1418 in. (35.5 x 35.8 cm.)
sheet: 1934 x 1534 in. (50.1 x 40 cm.)
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Larry Fink, Social Graces: Photographs by Larry Fink, Aperture, New York, 1985, cover.
Larry Fink, Social Graces: Photographs by Larry Fink, powerHouse Books, Brooklyn, 2001, cover.
Laurie Dahlberg, Larry Fink, Phaidon, London, 2002, pl. 10.
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Lot Essay

Pat Sabatine’s Eight Birthday Party, on offer here as rare, early print, appeared on the cover of Larry Fink's well-known book, Social Graces (1984). The picture captures a decisive moment in a swirl of movement. Fink draws attention to the choreography of the scene involving the boy’s dramatic hand gesture, the woman entering with a cake on a tilted tray, and the arm of a man holding the door. The dynamic, implied action of the objects within the tight frame creates a sense of instability, where one easy motion--the door hitting the woman—could send the celebration to disaster. The picture compels the spectator to stop and examine it closely in try to solve the riddle of the instant.

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