I’ve come to think that visiting the annual AIPAD Photography Show is something akin to being a geologist taking core samples – depending on where you decide to plant your shovel and dig, the specimens will differ widely. So based on your interests and your eye, you might find it to be a show of iconic vintage trophies, or 19th century vistas, or process driven abstractions, or Japanese photography, and of course, it’s all of these things and many, many more. While the fair still suffers from failing to attract many of the well known contemporary art galleries that regularly exhibit new photography, there is certainly plenty of quality material here to keep even the most causal observer busy for days.
I’m convinced that every booth at AIPAD has something unexpected to offer, and my task again this year was to uncover it. Given the volume and variety of work on view, this is harder than it sounds – my systematic booth by booth process forced me to look hard at work that normally doesn’t register on my radar and think more carefully about what it had to offer. In many ways, it’s a form of continuing education, and as a byproduct, it weaves me back into interactions with gallery owners and bodies of work that I haven’t connected with recently.
The resulting summary (in four parts of roughly 20 galleries each) selects one or two images from every single stand, passing on things we’ve all seen before and triangulating in on some hopefully more eclectic selections. Starting to the left from the entry to the fair, the slideshows track my wandering path down the aisles, providing images as well as supporting information (linked gallery names, artists, prices, and further commentary).
Part 2 of this report can be found here.