Caroline Smulders (here): This booth was dedicated to the work of Gerard Malanga, with many enlarged portraits and film strips of glamour and celebrity subjects. This 1971 fire escape portrait of the young Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe (on an outside wall of the booth) has an intimate mood of confrontational respect and friendship. Priced at €5000.
Magnum Photos (here): Shot from underneath, this vintage Miguel Rio Branco image from the early 1970s takes full advantage of the unusual perspective. Planks become vertical strips, splayed legs becomes a zig zag, and the sky becomes the backdrop seen between the cracks. Priced at €16000.
Les Douches La Galerie (here): This pair of 1970 images by Tom Arndt opts for an understated brand of visual humor. Clothing stands on offer in the window marked furniture and vice versa, the miscommunication the occasion for a wry smile. Priced at €4500 each.
Polka Galerie (here): The surface of this three dimensional work by Hiroshi Takizawa ripples with physical folds and crumpled wrinkles, which are further echoed by the content of the photographic image from which it was made. Backfilled with resin, the work tests our comfort with sculptural photography, the image/object duality oscillating with intelligence. Priced at €2500.
Galerie Camera Obscura (here): Lucien Hervé’s photographs of Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh architecture are an example of one artist riffing on another. Using the powerful inky black shadows cast across Le Corbusier’s precise geometric forms, Hervé’s images flatten the spaces into an interlocked set of planes and angles. Priced at €4650.
Robert Morat Galerie (here): This booth used an innovative installation of photobooks to feature the photographs of Peter Puklus. By overlapping the reoriented spreads of his Handbook to the Stars on the wall, the recurring fragments of images converge, allowing us to see how the pictures work together. The prints are priced at €1400 each.
Galerie m Bochum (here): The saturated colors in this Evelyn Hofer dye transfer of Jackson Pollock’s studio give it its sticky tactile richness. And the skull adds a darker touch of the macabre. Priced at €8800.
Gitterman Gallery (here): Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s 1959 photograph of what looks like a screen door actively pushes to the edges of abstraction. Reduced to a harmonious balance of white blocks and black lines, it’s like Mondrian, on the front porch. Priced at €14700.
Etherton Gallery (here): On the heels of the excellent Danny Lyon retrospective at the Whitney, this booth was filled with prints from his keystone projects, ready for collectors who had Lyon top of mind. While this “boss on horse” image from his study of the Texas prison system captures the swagger of the guard population, the hand drawn red and black dots give the print an added layer of personal decoration, mixing the softness of the artist’s attention with the hardness of the subject’s cigar chomping attitude. Priced at $20000.
Christophe Guye Galerie (here): Lieko Shiga’s otherworldly photographs have made the rounds of important shows of contemporary Japanese photography of late, so it isn’t entirely surprising to see her work now popping up at art fairs. This print of a brightly lit evergreen tree shimmers with surreal magic, the ordinary becoming quietly unsettling in the wash of eerie light. Priced at €12800.
Parrotta Contemporary Art (here): This 1984 work by Pieter Laurens Mol finds a clever conceptual echo between pirouettes and apple parings. The twisting spiral of the cut apple skin curls and uncurls on the floor, while a black clad body spins with arms flung out wildly. Like many conceptual exercises, its strength lies in its seemingly effortless simplicity. Priced at €32000 for the set of 16 prints.
Artef (here): This 1940s panorama of the Swiss Alps by Emanuel Gyger takes in a sweep of snow topped peaks including the Matterhorn and other surrounding mountains. It is first and foremost a straightforward document, but its breathtaking natural grandeur extends that geographic instinct into the realm of art. Priced at €2200.
Thessa Herold (here): This extra large 1946 photogram by Arthur Siegel shows off the artist’s efforts to extend the genre. Interlocked cut paper forms are overlaid with scrims of mesh patterns, with areas of light ands shadow connecting the two sets of ideas. Priced at €18500.
Richard Saltoun (here): Knots and tangles of black hair turn into sculptural forms in these 1964 prints by Běla Kolářová. Like intricate ink drawings or drypoint etchings, they are alternately swoopingly gestural and scratchingly fuzzy. Priced at €10000 each.
Galerie Daniel Templon (here): Jitish Kallat’s lenticular triptych plays with our perception of shifting scale. The images themselves are close ups of an eggplant, with alternating tonalities in red/yellow and blue/green, but seen just right, we might mistake them for a cosmic landscape of galaxies and stars. Priced at €45000.
Bendana|Pinel (here): Taken in a furniture market, these two images by Alejandra Laviada isolate the bungee corded cargo packed up for delivery, turning the overstuffed piles into sculptural masses. Between the patterns of slats, doors, and shelves and the definition of the boxed space, they feel like something Louise Nevelson might have made, had she ever picked up a camera. Priced at €6500 each.
Flatland Gallery (here): I usually don’t have much interest in dog portraiture, but this image by Martin Usborne felt so authentically tuned to the details of an Old Masters painting that I was drawn in. Between the fall of the light, the drapery of the curtain, the still life lemons, and the pose of the dog itself, he has captured both vulnerability and esteemed grandeur. Priced at €5400.
NextLevel Galerie (here): This riot of color from Chloe Sells shouts from the wall with siren-like volume. The blast of overlapped red feathers feels like it should be the backdrop for Stravinsky’s Firebird. Priced at €7000.
Robert Koch Gallery (here): The 1944 photogram by László Moholy-Nagy makes folded paper feel gestural. The white forms twist and extend like wings amid the blackness, their graceful motion seemingly halted for just an instant. On reserve, so no price available.
Benrubi Gallery (here): Massimo Vitali’s most recent beach scene takes us to the Praia da Torre in Lisbon, where the sandy expanse is flanked by the hulking presence of the Santo Juliao Bara fort. The contrast works effectively, putting the bright sand and colorful frolicking against the darkness of the stone walls, successfully juxtaposing good time leisure and the hint of historical hardship in the same frame. Priced at €35000.
Equinox Gallery (here): This booth was a solo show of the work of Fred Herzog. A bus stop scene captures a classic street photography mismatch between the prim elderly woman and the grizzled man with his injured hand and paper dotted face, the saturated colors punctuated by the nearby red mailbox. A later print from a 1960s image, priced at €5000.
Dittrich & Schlectriem & V1 Gallery (here): This booth presented the results from a recent collaboration between Asger Carlsen and Roger Ballen. Apparently the images were worked in back and forth fashion, with Ballen’s charcoal scrawls and distorted faces and Carlsen’s software enhanced bodily forms being added incrementally in turn. The result is a double dose of grotesqueries, where skin melts and settings decay into primal symbols. Priced at €6000.
Martin Asbæk Gallery (here): This brand new work from Trine Søndergaard kicks off a new series of portraits of sitters in mourning dress. Here a pleated black cloth covers the face, swept back like a rippled wave. It is both a texturally rich study of traditional clothing and an almost complete personal negation. Priced at €8000.
Purdy Hicks (here): This subtle black and white landscape by Awoiska van der Molen takes emptiness as its central subject. The cropped down dark absence in the center of the picture is surrounded by brighter textures, where filigrees of leaves shimmer in the sunlight. Priced at €6300.
Magda Danysz Gallery (here): Alex Majoli’s high contrast images of Congolese fishermen have the gestural poetry of ballet. Arms sweep outward with the throw of the net, the trailing line arcing across the sky with a tug and a squiggle. Priced at €12000 for the set of 4 prints.
Vu’ (here): Pieter Ten Hoopen’s images of contemporary Tokyo capture a quiet undercurrent of social loneliness and isolation. His photographs seem to hover in a mist of melancholy, where heaviness, waiting, and exhaustion feel like tangible objects. Priced at €1300 each.
Galerie Esther Woerdehoff (here): At first glance, this rocky landscape by Iris Hutegger seems to be covered by a blanket of textural moss. Up close, it becomes clear that the print has been hand sewn with extreme care, the cotton thread woven across the surface of the print with meticulous precision. The result is akin to gentle hand coloring, without the detour into overt craftiness that often bogs down the needle and thread photo crowd. Priced at €15000.
Camera Work (here): While Irving Penn made countless portraits of various groups and gatherings of people, this was the first time I have encountered a staged image of his own studio assistants. Taken in 1947, the picture sets the team amid a tower of scaffolding and grey fabric (familiar from his various sets), with aprons for the darkroom staff and a skull as décor. Priced at €15000.
Staley-Wise Gallery (here): This booth was dominated by large scale prints by David LaChapelle (with a handful of Bert Stern images on the outside walls). In this work, LaChapelle once again walks the tightrope of over the top ridiculousness, this time with Kanye West, casting him with a burning tire, baton-wielding riot police, and a Liberty Leading the People style flag bearing pose. Who knows, maybe it will become the visual icon for Kanye 2020. Priced at €32000.
Vintage Works (here): This 2007 photogram from Ray Metzker is a byproduct of some of his late career experimentation. The coppery brown leaves seem to vanish into the darkness, lost in movement and ghostly blur. Priced at $10000.
Catharine Clark Gallery (here): Mixing dazzle camouflage fabrics and “ethnic” fabrics found at her local shopping mall, Stephanie Syjuco digs into the tropes and stereotypes of African studio portraiture. She then goes further by interrupting our view with a color gradation chart (with a nod to Christopher Williams), taking the appropriation and decontextualization another layer deeper. Priced at €2600.