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AIPAD Attraction

Posted By Administration, Saturday, April 12, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
DATE: April 12, 2008

Come April, photography blossoms in New York City like buds on the trees. For those who like a little competitive action, Christie's, Phillips de Pury and Sotheby's all hold their big photography auctions. For a more relaxed experience, it's off to the annual AIPAD Photography Show, Apr. 10-13, 2008, at the New York Armory on Park Avenue. Sponsored by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, the show, now in its 28th edition, presents more than 75 dealers from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan.

©Patrick McMullan Photo - JOE SCHILDHORN/
Last year, the fair seemed to feature a lot of glamour photography by everyone from Norman Parkinson to Steven Klein. This time around, the show seems split between newly unearthed vintage material and new work by contemporary photographers.

One highlight that falls into neither of these categories is the display of photos by the legendary Museum of Modern Art curator John Szarkowski at the booth of Pace/MacGill, opposite to the entrance to the fair. When Szarkowski was made director of MoMA's photo department in 1962, not a single art gallery in New York was devoted to photography (Witkin Gallery opened in 1969, and Light Gallery in 1971). Among his own artfully composed black-and-white prints are several that predate his MoMA job, including a complex and alluring Chicago street-scene from 1954 showing terra-cotta detailing on the Garrick Theater cheek-by-jowl with the "Ham 'n' Egger" diner (a new print is $5,500).

ImagePeter Galassi, Robert Klein ©Patrick McMullan Photo - JOE SCHILDHORN/
Also at Pace/MacGill is a vintage gelatin print of Man Ray's 1923 Return to Reason, a sensuous portrait of the nude torso of Kiki de Montparnasse caressed by shadows. The image is taken from the three-minute-long Dadaist film of the same name, which begins with a montage of rayographic images of tacks and nails, and ends with Kiki twirling and showing off her shapely body. The price: $900,000. The film is viewable on YouTube -- click here).

Around the corner is the booth of Joshua Mann Pailet, the irrepressible proprietor of A Gallery for Fine Photography in New Orleans. On view in his stand is a mural-sized new color photograph by Sandy Skoglund. Two-and-a-half years in the making, the photo -- titled Fresh Hybrid (2008) -- shows a typical American family exploring a tableaux including pipe-cleaner grass and felt-covered green trees sprouting bright yellow chicks from their branches. A large print -- it comes in three sizes -- is $75,000. The work is the first of a series of the four seasons, and represents "spring."

A second wall at A Gallery for Fine Photography is covered with orotone prints (silver gelatin printed on glass and backed with gold, the same technique used by Edward S. Curtis) by the New Orleans team of Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown, who work as Louviere + Vanessa. Their Boschian images of distorted creatures have proved popular, said gallery director Edward Hébert. "We're going to have to raise their prices." At present their photos sell for $1,000-$10,000.

Other contemporary photographers with stuff at the fair include the Dutch artist Erwin Olaf, whose 4 x 4 ft. portrait of a sleekly winsome brunette, called Hope 5 (2005), displayed on the outside of the Hasted Hunt booth, was marked sold at $25,000 as soon as the fair opened. Another contemporary artist, Julie Blackmon, who is based in Springfield, Mo., was displaying her color digital prints at the booth of Catherine Edelman Gallery from Chicago.

Julie Blackmon Before the Storm, 2007 Archival digital
print 22 x 22 inches, edition of 25 32 x 32 inches, edition
of 10 Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery
Clearly inspired by Dutch genre scenes, Blackmon's contemporary interiors are enlivened by playing children and realistic suburban disarray, as well as by references to Renaissance art via reproductions of Old Master paintings on the walls. The photos are produced in different sizes and editions, and priced between $3,200 and $4,450.

Among the 19th-century works on offer at the fair is a transfixing ambrotype from 1959-60 of John Brown, the revolutionary abolitionist who tried to launch an insurrection to end slavery and was hung for his trouble in 1959. A photo of a photo of a photo, this ambrotype is $7,000 at the booth of Charles Schwartz Ltd.

Nearby, at Richard Moore Photographs from Oakland are several works from a trove of 16 photographs by the early-20th-century California bohemian Margrethe Mather (1886-1952), who is credited with introducing the Illinois family man Edward Weston to the artistic milieu. A frequent model for Weston herself, Mather made sophisticated portraits of artists and writers in Los Angeles in the first part of the century before giving up photography entirely (and sinking into alcoholism). The group of 16 photographs here -- priced between $25,000 and $50,000 -- were recently discovered in the estate of Gertrude Barrett, a musician and member of Mather's circle.

Fans of 19th-century photography won't want to miss the booth of Hans P. Kraus Jr., which features several prints from L'Album Simart, assembled in 1856-60 and now on view at the gallery at 962 Park Avenue till May 9, 2008. A longstanding mystery in the photo world, the author of these striking pictures is unknown, but thought to be a member of the circle of French sculptor Pierre Charles Simart. The relatively large -- ca. 12 x 17 in. -- salt print of an apple tree is thought to complete a suite of nudes on the theme of Adam and Eve.

Another 19th-century trove is on view at Gary Edwards Gallery from Washington, D.C. The striking 1852 calotype by Maxime DuCamp showing a sculpture at Abu Simbel gradually emerging from the desert sand is one of a group of 100 salt prints, which also includes works by Roger Fenton, William Henry Fox Talbot and James Anderson. The entire lot can be yours for $1 million.

By Walter Robinson
For Artnet Magazine

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Posted By Administration, Friday, April 11, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
DATE: April 11, 2008

If you are a traditionally minded photography collector, you should spend this weekend at the Aipad Show, the annual fair by and for members of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers. With more than 75 dealers from around the world, this elegant expo presents thousands of pictures representing nearly the full range of the history of photography. At the early end there are mysteriously spectral mid-19th-century prints at Hans P. Kraus Jr. and Galerie Daniel Blau. Many galleries are showing works by canonical 20th-century figures like Edward Weston, Walker Evans and Diane Arbus.

As for contemporary work, there is Jeff Brouws's nocturnal 1993 picture of a Missouri motel's neon sign at Robert Mann. Bringing us up to the present, A Gallery for Fine Photography offers a major work completed just three weeks ago by Sandy Skoglund. A zany, staged picture in vivid, synthetic colors, the approximately 5-by-7-foot print depicts a boy, his parents and the family dog in a bizarre wonderland with grass made of colored pipe cleaners, furry trees with dancing legs and a family of pudgy mannequins covered in fake fur.

Most galleries display miscellaneous selections from their inventories, which can make for an exciting experience. You never know what treasure might be hanging just down the wall. Tucked in a corner at William L. Schaeffer's gallery is one of the show's strangest pictures: an unknown 19th-century medical photographer's portrait of a handsome, bearded young man with one shoulder transformed by a horrifying growth as big as his head.

The show's random diversity can also be exhausting for the casual visitor, as the many different genres on view — including fashion photography and photojournalism, as well as fine art — begin to blur together. There's a lot of repetition. Works by Aaron Siskind, for example, are on view at more than 20 dealers.

It is a pleasure, then, to visit two booths that have organized small, single-artist shows. Laurence Miller Gallery has a selection of works by the great street photographer Helen Levitt. It includes amazingly empathetic black-and-white pictures of children at play and examples of her later work in color, like the image of a girl looking for something under a car's avocado green tail with a sky blue Volkswagen bug parked across the street.

In contrast to Ms. Levitt's lively urban poetry, a show at Pace/MacGill presents dreamy photographs of rural subjects by John Szarkowski, the much revered former curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, who died in July 2007. His work creates a soothing oasis of calm in the midst of the busy marketplace. KEN JOHNSON

The show is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; (202) 367-1158,; $25.

By Ken Johnson, Roberta Smith, and Karen Rosenberg
For The New York Times

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Breaking Out at the AIPAD Photography Show

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 10, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
DATE: April 10, 2008

There was "great energy" at last night's sold-out gala preview for this year's AIPAD Photography Show, according to the three ladies manning Pace/MacGill's booth today, and they'd be the ones to know. The 57th Street gallery boasts one of the best locations at the fair (it's the first booth you'll see), which they've filled with a selection of images by the late MoMA curator John Szarkowski as well as a few other vintage treasures.

©Patrick McMullan Photo -
Pace also boasts one of the fair's most expensive works, as far as ARTINFO could tell: Man Ray's Le retour a la raison (Return to Reason), a 1923 vintage silver gelatin print going for $900,000. That bested another top-tier highlight just across the aisle, a pristine vintage print of Edward Weston's Shell (1927), going for $750,000 at Edwynn Houk Gallery's booth.

The vintage dealers, according to Gitterman Gallery's Elena John, had been "waiting to see what would happen at the auctions" and were encouraged by the results. Gitterman is offering a Weston Nude Oceano (1936) for $400,000, which John says is much more pristine than the similar Nude on the Sand, Oceano (1936) that sold at Sotheby's for $325,000, smashing pre-auction estimates of $120-180,000.

But neither these iconic works nor similarly priced masterpieces by Edward Steichen and Irving Penn at San Francisco's Michael Shapiro Gallery had sold as of this writing, despite reports from several gallerists that vintage works are easier to sell at openings than their contemporary counterparts.

Virginia Zabriskie of New York's Zabriskie Gallery said she hadn't sold any of her contemporary offerings — charming costumed self-portraits by Japanese photographer and shapeshifter Tomoko Sawada — at the opening. The dealer explained that she's "not sure people buy contemporary work at openings," since it's "a lot more difficult to sell editioned work at an opening because it doesn't have the buzz of a unique work."

Aside from the exceptional prints like the Weston and Man Ray, the offerings generating the most buzz — or at least the most attention — seemed to be the contemporary ones, though everyone ARTINFO spoke with seemed confident about the level of interest in all the works, even if there were few early sales to report.

Some of the most innovative work could be found at Silverstein Photography's booth, where Bruce Silverstein raved about lawyer-cum-emerging artist Maria Antoinetta Mameli, an exhibition of whose work will inaugurate the gallery's new 20th Street space dedicated to promoting emerging artists and opening April 17. The gallery had three digital C-prints, priced from $2,500 to $3,500, each presenting a tiny black and red figure — a man on a bike carrying red shopping bags, a dog-walker with red leashes — on a swath of pristine white. Two sold opening night.

Also on view at Silverstein was a gorgeous 2006 print of water and ink meeting in a kind of midair explosion by Japanese newcomer Shinichi Maruyama, who'll have a solo show at the gallery in the fall, as well as an installation of six works by Zoe Strauss, an emerging artist who's made her name photographing the down-and-out in her South Philadelphia neighborhood. Strauss had her first solo show at the gallery last summer and will present another next December. Neither of these had sold as of this writing.

On the other side of the fair, Hasted Hunt is also showing some experimental work, most significantly the abstract creations of 30-something, German-born newcomer Andreas Gefeller, who works as a kind of human scanner. For Untitled (Office Ceiling) Düsseldorf (2007) for example, he painstakingly photographed every square inch of the ceiling of a giant office facility, then synthesized the photographs into a 58-by-110-inch composite. Not quite as monumental, but more lyrical, is the 50-by-50-inch digital C-print Untitled (Leaves), Düsseldorf (2007), which uses the same process to capture a sunburst of fallen yellow ginkgo leaves on green grass. These works were priced at $19,500 and $11,000 respectively. Neither sold during the preview, though several others of the artist's work did.

The gallery did sell, very early in the preview, the last edition of a quiet Erwin Olaf portrait that graces the cover of his new book, out this fall from Aperture, for $25,000, as well as four prints, priced from $6,000 to $10,000, from Italian fashion photographer Paolo Ventura's large-scale images created from circus-like dioramas.

Paul Kopeikin was one of few dealers to report sales early in the preview, though some of his came in his role as a collector: the Los Angeles gallerist confessed that he'd already bought two Kenneth Josephson prints from Etherton gallery. For his part, Kopeikin was proud to be showing only artists whose work didn't appear elsewhere at the fair. Causing some buzz was a sprawling Tara Donovan-esque image by Chris Jordan showing a million plastic cups (literally – it's the number used on U.S. planes every six hours) twisted into what looked like piping out of an Escher or H.R. Giger fantasy. Kopeikin also had several gorgeous 30-by-40-inch chromogenic prints showing lone figures on the beach against a black nighttime sea by Edgar Martins, as well as several of newcomer J. Bennett Fitts's sparse prints investigating landscaping in industrial parks, and Amy Stein's Howl (2007), which is even more stunning in person than it is online. Four Fittses, priced at $2,000 to $3,500 each, sold during the preview, which Kopeikin said was "better than a usual opening night," which he also noted tend to be slow for contemporary dealers, whose editioned works don't have the "you snooze you lose" quality of one-of-a-kind vintage prints.

Still lifes, particularly those modeled after or yearning for the resonant tranquility of the Dutch masters, can be found throughout the fair. New York's Yancey Richardson, which reported being "off to a good start" after the preview, had several different approaches to these, including three or four works by Sharon Core, who's gained attention in the past for re-creating the paintings of Wayne Thibaud in photographs, for which she whipped up cakes and other confections detailed to match the ones he painted. Nowadays she's painstakingly reassembling the still lifes of early American painter Raphaelle Peale in 17-by-23-inch chromogenic prints priced around $3,500. Also at Yancey Richardson are lovely, spare still lifes of abandoned, white-tableclothed dining tables by Laura Letinsky.

Another artist inspired by the Dutch, but whose work is anything but still, is Julie Blackmon, who's showing with Chicago's Catherine Edelman Gallery. According to the gallery, Blackmon's work refers to the Dutch expression "a Jan Steen household," meaning "one in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings." For her digital photographs, sized 22 by 22 or 32 by 42 inches and ranging from $2,200 to about $4,000 (in editions of 25 or 10), Blackmon assembles various family members — the Missouri-based 40-something is the oldest of nine and has three children herself — into tableaux commenting on contemporary family life. Edelman declined to comment on how many had sold but emphasized that "with contemporary there's a lot of education involved" at openings.

Robert Burge/20th Century Photographs is offering a selection of D. W. Mellor's carefully sculpted, lovingly hand-printed, very Dutch-looking still lifes, but get 'em while you can! The paper Mellor's used throughout his career is being discontinued, so he's reluctantly going digital. An assistant at the booth told me that after the show, the photographer will take back the unsold analog prints and archive them.

In this digital age, Mellor's plight is not uncommon. At the booth of New Orleans's A Gallery for Fine Photography, gallery assistant Edward Hebert told me their artist Josephine Sacabo is having the same problem. Rather than go digital, however, she's gone the other route, reverting to the early-19th-century photogravure process, updated only slightly with 21st-century materials.

The gallery's artists Louviere + Vanessa, a New Orleans–based husband and wife team, are also experimenting with technologies of the past, creating orotones, or goldtones, in which an image is printed onto glass and backed with gold leaf. Smaller attempts featuring a dog-headed creature performing tricks are available for $2,500, and two larger, painterly images, one from Central Park, can be had for $7,500 (in an edition of 3). The gallery also has several non-goldtone works from the duo, which, though backward-looking in their sort of circus-like imagery, are inventive in their techniques. Each of these prints, priced around $2,500, involves handmade costumes, digital mastering, and a multi-step printing process culminating in a coating of wax and the artists' own blood. See them to believe them.

All in all, gallerists seemed pleased with the pace of sales so far, as well as with the overall quality of work at the fair. Michael Lee, the son of Lee Gallery owner Mack, said the photographs at AIPAD are always the best of any fair's, with lots of the high-end vintage works available. "Anything you can break out is here," he said.

By Kris Wilton

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This Week: The AIPAD Photography Show New York

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
DATE: April 9, 2008

The AIPAD Photography Show New York will run from Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13, 2008, at the Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street in New York City. Show hours will be:

Thursday, April 10     11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 11         11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 12      11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 13       11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Show Information

Download The AIPAD Photography Show New York 2008 Press Release

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AIPAD Photography Show Preview

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
DATE: April 8, 2008

Even though it's only been a couple of weeks since the Armory Show hitched up its wagons and left New York City, there's a real sense of anticipation about the AIPAD Photography Show happening this week. Partly this is due to New Yorkers' seemingly insatiable appetite for art fairs, but it's also because – despite the burgeoning presence of photographic work in contemporary art practice – the show's concentration on photography, both historical and contemporary, gives it a unique flavor.

There's also, of course, the quality of the pictures on display: The Association of International Photography Art Dealers was established in 1979 with the specific task of maintaining standards in photography dealership. Some 75 of its current 145 members will be presenting work at the Park Avenue Armory this Thursday through Sunday (after a gala preview on Wednesday), and selecting the best won't be easy. In addition to the highlights included in the photo gallery to the left, keep an eye out for work by Reenie Barrow at Robert Burge/20th Century Photographs, Tomoko Sawada at Zabriskie, Edgar Martins and Amy Stein at Paul Kopeikin, Binh Danh at Lisa Sette, and Abelardo Morell at Bonni Benrubi. All are excellent in my opinion.

By Robert Ayers

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