Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): While contemporary material often gets the spotlight at art fairs like Paris Photo, a vintage gem like Harry Callahan’s 1943 weeds in snow can certainly hold its own against the hot new thing, whatever that might be. Its black strands poke through the white snow like delicately gestural calligraphy. Priced at $25000.
Galerie Dix9 – Hélène Lacharmoise (here): If Joachim Schulz’ works look watery, it’s because he’s printed images of 17th century Dutch still life paintings on the coated backs of photographic paper and deliberately overinked them, creating pools of pigment that slosh around and intermingle until they dry. The results are like fluid watercolors, where detail dissolves into essence. Priced at €3700.
Paci Contemporary (here): This booth was a solo presentation of the work of Mario Cravo Neto, with bodies and animals repeatedly woven together in symbolic combinations. Here the weathered hands of a man envelop the fragile bodies of two birds, their tail feathers nestled into the hollows of his eyes. Priced at €8500.
Galería Emma Molina (here): The Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides was the master of car crashes, as this small vintage print attests. Not only does the picture capture the violence of the overturned car, it balances the tangled wheels with the playful obliviousness of the nearby children. Priced at €20000 for a set of 6 images (which were hung together).
Stills Gallery (here): Sparking bubbles inside bubbles float in the backyard in this image from Trent Parke’s series The Black Rose. Their glistening brightness feels like magic. Priced at €10650.
Yancey Richardson Gallery (here): In recent years, Zanele Muholi has become a prolifically creative self portraitist. In this image, we find her hair piled high, and further decorated by heavy tangles of shiny metallic rope. Punctuated by her penetrating stare and ink dark skin, the image oscillates between ostentatious glamour and choking oppression. Priced at $6800.
Patricia Conde Galería (here): This Kati Horna 1960s advertising image for eye drops is wonderfully strange. Disembodied single eyes wander through the enveloping whiteness, gathering like a school of fish. Priced at $20000.
Gallery Luisotti (here): Mark Ruwedel’s array of angled-roof desert houses is rigorously formal and luminously precise. Each architectural rectangle floats between empty skies and sandy scrubland, letting us methodically compare the details of boarded up windows and echoing openness. Priced at $35000 for the entire set and unsurprisingly already sold.
Nordenhake (here): This booth was a deserving tribute to the work of Michael Schmidt, a photographer who is undeniably well regarded by photo insiders, but largely unknown and underappreciated among the larger public. This set of 9 images comes from his late 1990s Frauen series, and is executed with both strict attention to form and quietly understated naturalism. They’re the kind of pictures that don’t seem particularly noteworthy until you stop to look at them a while, at which point they seem to thrum with sophisticated intelligence. Simplicity like this is much harder than it looks. Priced at €81000 for the set.
Galeria Asymetria (here): Natalia LL’s conceptually smart “consumer art” from 1972 turns the everyday act of eating into something alternately repetitive, comic, playful, transgressive, and erotic. With a feminist edge, she turns her facial movements into a typology of resonant gestures. Priced at €2500 and already sold.
Keith De Lellis Gallery (here): Some of Margaret Bourke-White’s best (and rarest) photographs were taken early in her career, particularly in 1929 and 1930, when she embraced a romantically crisp Modernist vision of industry. This image of the unsheathed tower of the Chrysler Building during construction is a fine example of that geometric precision of thought. There is durable mastery in the way she has turned the scaffolding and dark shadows into a powerful spatial system. Priced at $85000.
East Wing (here): Unlikely juxtaposition is what makes Philippe Dudouit’s image from Freezan in southern Libya so memorable. Tuareg militiamen puzzlingly play foosball in the middle of harsh rocky country (where did the table come from?), with several anti-aircraft guns stationed in the distance. While its playful humanity seems altogether improbable given the circumstances, it’s the kind of indelible image that captures the contradictions in the lives of youthful soldiers. Priced at €4200.
Galerie Eric Dupont (here): Nicholas Nixon has been getting closer and closer to his own face in recent years, examining the whiskers of his beard and the skin on his face with hyper attentive clarity. This image finds him making a reflected self portrait in his own eye, the looming silhouette of the large format camera interrupting his pupil. His eye has a kind of misty mystery to it, as if we all might be swallowed up in its tiny universe. Priced at €4500.
Gallery Fifty One (here): This vintage portrait and others like it by Mama Casset from Dakar help to put the work of many of the more famous African studio portraitists into historical context. Between the bulbous hairstyle and the thick jewelry, we see powerful symbols of cultural identity and social standing in the face of this young woman, and Cassat’s portrait captures her persona with palpable strength and conviction. Priced at €6150.
Scheublein + Bak (here): Insistent visual rhythms inhabit Herbert Franke’s mid 1950s experimental works. Light waves jiggle and dance across uniform blackness, their pulsating repetitive gyrations turned into sinuous abstractions. Priced at €72000 for the set of 9 prints.
La Galerie Particulière/Galerie Foucher-Biousse (here): Stephane Couturier’s recent images made in the Bab-el-Oued neighborhood of Algiers try to capture the shifting personality of the city. By digitally superimposing two images of adjacent building facades and allowing them to transparently intermingle, he creates architectural visions that seem to shimmer, as iron balconies fade and reform, and striped curtains billow out and disappear. Priced at €22000.
Mor Charpentier (here): Using archival images from the São Paulo penitentiary as her starting point, Rosângela Rennó’s monumental images loom with historical weight. Her enlarged backs of the prisoners’ heads cover an entire wall in this booth, their whorled scalps shorn close revealing intricate patterns of hair, almost like fingerprints. Priced at $27000.
Galleria Continua (here): While many of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s theaters revel in the ornate grandeur of the old movie houses and stages, this image from the series is unusually austere, the simplicity of its geometries coming through with more formal intensity. Priced at $30000.
M+B (here): Ellen Carey’s recent abstractions use physical folds to corral energetic blasts and flares of bright color. The works are expressively effervescent, bringing an infusion of vitality to the often pared down processes of darkroom experimentation. Priced at $6000.
Carlos Carvalho (here): It’s not entirely clear how Noé Sendas creates his vintage nudes interrupted by hovering black geometric shapes, but the peep show effect where Modernist geometries hide parts of nude bodies is undeniably clever. With a similar aesthetic to Laurie Simmons’ walking objects (and perhaps a nod to Frantisek Drtikol’s nudes in geometric settings), Sendas’ fragmented constructions are pleasingly sculptural, the unexpected combination of a pair of legs with a floating triangle or polygon seeming like both a negation and an addition. Priced at €1845 each.
Janet Borden (here): This intimate new landscape from Elger Esser seems to glow from within. Printed on a silver-coated copper plate and displayed on an ebony shelf, the burnished surface of the photographic object feels softly tactile and quietly regal. Priced at €18000.
M97 Gallery (here): This cluster of works by Michael Wolf gathers together a variety of his found Hong Kong details. Formal studies of mops, pipes, air vents, scaffolding, and other alleyway detritus are punctuated by two static videos bring movement into the aesthetic equation, tracking the falling of water from a drainpipe and the twisting of drying gloves in the wind. Priced at €1000 each or €24000 for the larger set of 24 prints and 3 videos.
Erick Franck Fine Art/Augusta Edwards (here): Karen Knorr incisively skewers the gentlemanly attitudes of upper class British privilege in this clever portrait. Annotated by a lament to the lowering of standards (including the fact that newspapers are no longer ironed), the image captures the trappings and attitudes of club life, from the tea set and room décor to the studied ennui of the sitter. Priced at €7000.
Galerie Anita Beckers (here): Christiane Feser’s elaborately constructed photo objects continue to amaze. In this work, two sandwiched prints allow for the three dimensional lifting of flaps, creating echoes and repetitions across the main image pattern, its shadow, and the now jagged physical surface. Priced at €12500.
SAGE Paris (here): This 43-image portfolio from 1973 finds the Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri taking a philosophical look at a printed atlas. His pictures are filled with isolated fragments, of letters and topographies, or lines and familiar representations, as though a whirlwind journey might be taken by simply engaging with these symbols and abstractions. Seen together, it’s both bracingly smart and magically Calvino-esque. Priced at €400000.
Gallery Taik Persons (here): Pertti Kekarainen’s recent work continues his career-long investigation of the nuances of pictorial space. Here striped areas of indeterminate scale and position are stitched together digitally, creating a complicated projection of shifting unreality. Priced at €12000.
Galerie Polaris (here): Louis Heilbronn’s finely wrought black and white photographs tell the story of the slow power of nature’s reclamation. The images on view here document houses bought by New York state after the widespread damage of Hurricane Sandy, and each twisted wire, broken lattice, and scrapped piece of plywood feels worn down by the gradual passing of time. Priced at €1900 each.
Vintage Galéria (here): These two works capture intricate light experiments made by Dora Maurer. Arrays of vertical blocks act like sluices, turning to allow different amounts of light into the matrix and creating alternate waves of cascading shadows. Priced at €15000 each.
Loock Gallery (here): This massive, wall covering work by York Der Knoefel is an experiential dive into the former East Germany’s largest slaughterhouse. Images of pigs march across the series of zinc panels, with chopped off trotters and slick gore flanked by gutted carcasses and newly made sausage. As allegories go, its indictment of the regime is scathing, the entire place a labyrinth of horrors. Priced at €50000.
Grundemark Nilsson (here): It’s not entirely obvious what is actually happening is this enigmatic picture by Sacha Weidner, but whether the subjects are falling or flying, its loose freedom seethes with exhilarating energy. Priced at €5500.
Charles Isaacs (here): This 1923 upside down portrait of Nahui Olin by Edward Weston taken during his time in Mexico bears the hallmarks of early Surrealist and avant garde influences on his work. Her blurred gaze is unsettlingly direct, as though possessed by some enigmatic power, and her inverted alignment upends the normal conventions of a close up portrait. An extended look at this picture left me impressed and quietly dazzled by its magnetic presence. Priced at POR.
Galleri Bo Bjerggaard (here): Eva Schlegel’s luminous architectural studies linger in the depths of soft white blur. Using layers of rephotography (both in and out of focus), she muddies a crisp reading on the space, forcing the viewer to extrapolate and guess or accept the mystery of the deliberate lack of information. Priced at €21000.