Listen closely and you’ll hear the murmur of change in the air at this year’s AIPAD Photography Show. From the addition of “New York” to the fair title to the behind-the-scenes grading of booths to facilitate a more rigorous vetting process going forward, there’s a sense that this longtime association-driven photography gathering is striving to bring itself into the tougher competitive fray of the now ubiquitous 21st century art fair. The quiet rumble is becoming louder, and it’s pushing to make the fair even more crisp and contemporary, perhaps ultimately eliminating the signature flip bins and crowded walls that once populated many booths.
Regardless of the internal machinations of the fair and its presenting galleries, our annual effort to systematically discover something of interest in every single booth at the fair felt just as manic as ever. Aside from the conspicuously absent Pace/MacGill, Fraenkel, Higher Pictures, and David Zwirner, this year’s booth count has swelled to 87, so there’s even more than usual to process. While this is our 7th year of in-depth AIPAD reporting, the overall composition of the fair seems to stay relatively constant, with vintage favorites, astonishing rarities, overlooked/rediscovered finds, and new work always tussling for our attention. Our summaries this year try to blend a few examples from each category like a well-edited mixtape, hopefully bringing together the comfort of the recognized (and unabashedly coveted) and the thrill of the fresh and unexpected.
The slideshow below (in four sequential parts of roughly 20 galleries each) selects one image from every single stand, starting to the left from the entry and systematically working up and down the aisles. Images are captioned with linked gallery names, artists, prices, and further description/commentary as appropriate.
Bruce Silverstein Gallery (here): While the twits and turns of Andre Kertesz’ carnival mirror nude distortions from the early 1930s have become familiar, very few add the extra element of a multiple exposure. This vintage image doubles the figure, adding the perplexing ghosts of too many legs and feet. Priced at $35000.
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery (here): Ola Kolehmainen has recently employed multi-part image constructions in his photographs of monumental interiors, but this image applies the same approach to something more intimate, allowing small misalignments and color shifts to reveal the process. Priced at $22500.
Yancey Richardson Gallery (here): A new photogram by Bryan Graf keeps the scale extra large, turning the layered billows of mesh into a swirling mass of leaking abstract color. Priced at $15000.
Daniel Blau (here): This image comes from an unexpected set of backstage photographs of burlesque dancers by Margaret Bourke-White (1936). As they ascend, the multiple bent legs of the chorus girls track the angle of the stairway. Priced at $3000.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): Railings, wires, stripes, and painted wood grain layered into a complex,intermingled blast of color. Yasuhiro Ishimoto, from 1981, priced at $6000.
798 Photo Gallery (here): A formal study of line and color, using cast shadows, architectural details, and tactile grey dirt. Kai Caemmerer, priced at $2500.
Benrubi Gallery (here): Iterative studio rephotography playing with lines, angles, and process steps, using white strips of paper thrown into a jumble and later cut into disassembled tiles. Delphine Burtin, priced at $2400.
Staley-Wise Gallery (here): Using a paper map as an improvised sun shade, with the white edges of the swimsuit and the sunglasses providing eye catching contrasts. Louise Dahl-Wolfe, priced at $20000.
Richard Moore Photographs (here): A vertical screen of extending bean vines interrupts the deadpan gaze of a young girl on the porch. The horizontal wood slats provide visual contrast with the twine going up. Not an image I’ve ever seen before. Dorothea Lange (1938/1955-1956), priced at $15000.
Lee Gallery (here): A truly luminous 1901 Edward Steichen print (“La Rose”). The portrait is elongated and asymmetrically composed, the rapturous face emerging from the darkness, announcing the beginning of Pictorialism. Priced at $100000.
Lisa Sette Gallery (here): Luis Gonzalez Palma moving to digital print on canvas technology, adding geometric overpainting like bold framing. Priced at $5000.
Grundemark Nilsson Gallery (here): Using nighttime shadows cast on vegetal wallpaper to capture crisp graphical forms. From the Swedish photographer Dawid, priced at $10000.
James Hyman Gallery (here): While the contorted self-portrait face of Berenice Abbott is an easily recognized photo icon, supporting materials for this 1932 print actually show that each print she made from the original negative is different (particularly in the placement of the eyes, as seen in images from the collections of the Met and MoMA). Using a special distortion easel of her own design, she made several misaligned faces, no two alike. (Somehow I didn’t get the price.)
Keith De Lellis Gallery (here): Dovima flattened into a strangely bent position, with wine glass and high heels oddly askew. Tony Vaccaro, priced at $4500.
Gallery 19/21 (here): A puzzling 1935 Maurice Tabard photogram, where droplets crisply echo wispy forms in the background, perhaps as a result of a reflected/disrupted projection from above. Priced at $24000.
See+ Gallery (here): A 1970s scene from a patriotic model opera in China, a surreal cultural time capsule in vibrant color. Zhang Yaxin, modern prints priced at $3000.
PDNB Gallery (here): One for the pantheon of great back photographs – a symphony of wrinkles, on arms and hands and in shirt cloth. Earlie Hudnall Jr., priced at $5500.
Charles A. Hartman Fine Art (here): A formal investigation of sculptural shapes and subtle tones, the top pulled back and the car filled with rusty, abandoned auto parts. Mark Steinmetz, priced at $2500.
Rose Gallery (here): A sculptural volume emerging out of a chain link tangle, bathed in acidic negative orange. John Chiara, from 2011, priced at $6000.
Barry Singer Gallery (here): Dark shadowed pedestrians, painterly but full of urgent motion. Johan Hagemeyer, from 1921, with an intricate ink signature block. Priced at $45000.
Catherine Couturier Gallery (here): Very early Jerry Uelsmann, from his 1959 graduate work at Indiana University, showing his first steps into combined/composite imagery. Priced at $6000.
Charles Schwartz Ltd. (here): Precisionist painter Louis Lozowick flanked by the gears of the Erie Canal. Ralph Steiner, 1929, priced at $15000.
Continue to Part 2 of this summary report here. Part 3 is here. And Part 4 is here.
Read more about: André Kertész, Berenice Abbott, Bryan Graf, Dawid (Björn Dawidsson), Delphine Burtin, Dorothea Lange, Earlie Hudnall Jr., Edward Steichen, Jerry Uelsmann, Johan Hagemeyer, John Chiara, Kai Caemmerer, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Luis González Palma, Margaret Bourke-White, Mark Steinmetz, Maurice Tabard, Ola Kolehmainen, Ralph Steiner, Tony Vaccaro, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Zhang Yaxin, 798 Photo Gallery, Barry Singer Gallery, Benrubi Gallery, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, Catherine Couturier Gallery, Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, Charles Schwartz Ltd., Galerie Daniel Blau, Gallery 19/21, Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, James Hyman Gallery, Keith de Lellis Gallery, Lee Gallery, Lisa Sette Gallery, PDNB Gallery, Richard Moore Photographs, Rose Gallery, See+ Gallery, Staley-Wise Gallery, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Yancey Richardson Gallery, AIPAD Photography Show ~ Pier 94
You make a few good points about the AIPAD show, but Fraenkel Gallery and Pace/McGill have been conspicuously absent from the show for at least 15 years.