Throckmorton Fine Art (here): This 1950s image by Lola Álvarez Bravo certainly finds a surreal edge, mixing a bare eyeball with a mannequin hand making a gently mysterious gesture, perhaps of blessing. The vegetation behind the hand echoes the curves of the fingers, setting smooth and rough textures against each other, leading to a picture with an enduring ability to gracefully unsettle. Priced at $8500.
Etherton Gallery (here)/Galerie Baudoin Lebon (here): This dual hosted booth was a deep solo presentation of the work of Joel-Peter Witkin, including contact sheets and a range of prints. “The Kiss” is one of Witkin’s signature images, where a severed head split in two appears to kiss itself, deliberately combining the tender and the grotesque. Priced at $135000.
Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs (here): This Gustave Le Gray photograph was made in 1867 in Egypt, in the years after the photographer had left France. The dark forms of the palm trunks interrupt the river scene with elegantly daring boldness, framing the view and frustrating our ability to see it in equal measure. Priced at $235000.
Utópica (here): This solarized portrait by the Brazilian photographer German Lorca is one of his best known, but the dark wisp of smoke that rises from the cigarette and drifts into the air was what grabbed my attention when seeing the picture again at the fair. The reversed tonalities give the smoke a seductive strangeness, adding to the already surreal swirl of the flared highlights in the face and hat. Priced at $10000.
Michael Shapiro Photographs (no website): The crisp lines and contrasts of Modernism take shape with style in this 1927 image by Tina Modotti. The dark archways appear almost flat in their perfect blackness, with the shadows, edges, and openings pushed to astonishingly sharp extremes. Priced at $185000.
Monroe Gallery of Photography (here): The young women in this colorful photograph by Anna Boyiazis are learning to swim. In their Muslim home of Zanzibar in Tanzania, women are banned from receiving this education, but they are doing it anyway, making this seemingly peaceful floating quite a bit more empowered and daring than it might appear. The shifting colors and pops of red in the composition are smartly arranged, but it’s the spirit of self-sufficiency that gives the picture its power. Priced at $15000.
Robert Koch Gallery (here): This layered cut paper photogram by Arthur Siegel from the 1940s is one of his best. Wedges of dark and light seem to meet and dance across the page, twisting and turning in a never-ending flow of implied movement. Priced at $18000.
Robert Koch Gallery (here): Adam Katseff’s artistic response to the constraints of the pandemic was to repeatedly photograph the same lake in Maine through the seasons. This view captures the scene in the unforgiving bleakness of mid-winter, the snow covered flatness settling into a muted melody of blue. Priced at $11500.
Yancey Richardson Gallery (here): This Kansas nightscape by Terry Evans composites multiple views of the same place at different instants, creating a hybrid moment that collapses time. This particular work features two moons, a range of soft sunsets, and the artist’s husband toting extra gear, deftly balancing the rhythms of the personal and the cosmic. Priced at $15000.
Yancey Richardson Gallery (here): This 2021 work by Mary Ellen Bartley incorporates a bit of illusionism into her still life images of books. The yellow edges of paperbacks have been stacked, split, and reassembled, creating an impossible tower of step-wise weights, and while she’s offered us a relatively straightforward visual mirage, its perplexing precariousness is still engaging. Priced at $4000.
Bruce Silverstein Gallery (here): While this image by Constantin Brancusi isn’t a particularly drastic photographic re-interpretation of one of his own sculptures, there is something about the simplicity of the sleek shadow echo and the V created in the space in between that feels elemental. The shadow somehow makes the reaching form of the sculpture all the more sharp and elevated, as though aiming skyward with implied stair-step energy. Priced at $35000.
Bruce Silverstein Gallery (here): The early typologies made by Bernd and Hilla Becher in the late 1960s and early 1970s have a hand-crafted physicality that has been somewhat lost as later versions of the works have separated the prints out into individual frames. Here the four images of winding towers have been mounted together with simple plastic corners, making the radical conceptual idea of comparing their industrial forms a more intimate visual exercise. Priced at $135000.
Staley-Wise Gallery (here): This 1968 image of a woman and a cat by Kali has a brashly psychedelic vibe. The paired eyes peer out from the swirl of color with searching intensity, and the red edge dissolves into a ghostly aura. Priced at $4000.
Jackson Fine Art (here): This new work by Saïdou Dicko continues the evolution of his distinctive aesthetic. Surrounded by fabric patterns thinned to digital netting and their skin darkened and anonymized by black overpainting, Dicko’s subjects seem to inhabit a magical world, even when posed in the everyday surroundings of his home country of Burkina Faso. In recent works like this one, his command of these details has become more confident, the bright colors and patterns interwoven with effusive energy. Priced at $6000.
Joseph Bellows Gallery (here): While this Grant Mudford picture from the late 1970s is one we’ve seen before, it remains an enduringly well-crafted study of lines and space. Taking a set of parking lots and pumpjacks in Long Beach as its subject, it turns the repeated verticals of the electrical poles into a kind of sparse industrial forest. Priced at $8000.
Joseph Bellows Gallery (here): Judy Fiskin’s small frontal studies of New York houses and duplexes from the mid 1980s highlight the geometries to be uncovered in everyday neighborhoods. Even when the houses are shrouded with snow or overgrown trees, Fiskin pays close attention to their forms, repeatedly pulling crisp triangles and rectangles out of the streets. Priced at $7500 each.
Alan Klotz Gallery (here): The compositional innovations of the Czech photographer Jaroslav Rössler feel ready for rediscovery. This work from 1927 features the unlikely combination of an electrical diagram, the back side of a calendar page, and an interrupting slash of metal, the three woven together into something approach uneasy harmony. Priced at $4800.
Obscura Gallery (here): Rashod Taylor’s front door portrait of his son on Easter Sunday captures a dark expression that we might not normally associate with best-clothes holiday imagery. And yet that playing-along-but-not-happy-about-it face is one most parents have seen at one time or another, which gives the pictures its universal looking-right-at-us relatability. Priced at $2000.
Arnika Dawkins Gallery (here): Oye Diran’s contemplative profile in deep blue delivers a potent dose of refined glamour. A shiny silver ribbon choker (that almost looks painted on) adds a bold contrast to the model’s dark skin and hair, making the most out of a single visual intervention. Priced at $4000.
Lee Gallery (here): This booth featured a solo presentation of the work of the California photographer Michael Jang, including a wall-covering multi-image mural. This small vintage print from 1973 features a classic arrangement of parallel family dynamics, with each member of the Jang family (including the dog) busy with their own interests. Priced at $10000. Jang’s excellent 2019 photobook Who is Michael Jang? was reviewed here.
Atlas Gallery (here): This recent work by the Finnish photographer Niko Luoma takes a 1967 painting by David Hockney as its inspiration, turning its composition into layers of geometric shapes. Using darkroom-improvised photographic color as its medium, it pares down representation to something approaching complete abstraction. Priced at $16800.
Atlas Gallery (here): This print of David Seymour’s classic 1951 image taken in Israel was included in the landmark 1967 exhibit “The Concerned Photographer”. The work has a printed caption and header, and is mounted to aluminum, attesting to its object quality and historical significance. Priced at $15500.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): Given the recent exhibit of André Kertész’ cartes postales at the Art Institute of Chicago, it’s not entirely surprising that the Chicago-based gallery owner Stephen Daiter might dig up a worthy example for newly interested collectors. This one features a penetrating stare and a reflected head, creating a quietly inventive doubled effect. Priced at $30000.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): This 2002 image of Charles and his model airplanes is perhaps Alec Soth’s most famous photograph, and it has been paired here with a 2004 Whitney Biennial poster which featured the picture. It’s a smart combination of vintage print and related ephemera, and a look back to an early point in Soth’s career, when he was just getting started. Priced at $35000.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): This diptych by Lewis Baltz was tucked on a back side wall, and I didn’t actually see it until I circled back through the booths from a different direction. A sublime study in texture, it turns the blank stuccoed walls of some anonymous industrial building into an attentive reversal, almost like a photographic riff on Robert Ryman’s white paintings. Priced at $55000.
Ibasho (here): This intimate work by Miho Kajioka pairs a shifting image of a birdcage with the flapping wings of a shadowplay bird. Softened further by the patina of tea staining, the combination feels gentle and almost nostalgic, like an urge to return home. Priced at $1225.
Richard Moore Photographs (here): What might be inside the paper bag in this image by Dorothea Lange we’ll never quite know, and that enduring mystery is part of its charm. Made in a San Francisco soup kitchen in 1933, the picture seems to capture a hard-earned moment of discovery, the pure light of the day making the bag almost sculptural. Priced at $6000.
Robert Mann Gallery (here): This 1976 photograph of Stonehenge by Richard Misrach has been split toned, the layers of selenium and gold toning creating a tactile chocolately brown that seems to enrich the land around the flash lit stone. The streaks of light across the sky give the moment even more drama, as if the ancient stone was about to reveal its secrets. Priced at $25000.
Deborah Bell Photographs (here): This jittering 1977 collage by Deborah Turbeville isn’t one I’ve seen before. Layered into a surreal telescoping pile, the model seems to dissolve inward into the scuffed greyness that surrounds her, the metal T pins used more for mark making than for attachment. Priced at $35000.
Deborah Bell Photographs (here): This new work by the Dutch photographer Wijnanda Deroo finds her poking around in the back rooms of the Hermitage Museum. And while this room features a jumble of stored busts and sculpture, Deroo seems to have found some hidden resonance, with a group of distracted faces not paying the shrouded central figure the respect he or she might deserve, but one small devotee ardently praying in the light of the window. Priced at $11000.
Galería Vasari (here)/Nailya Alexander Gallery (here): Annemarie Heinrich’s angled 1940 portrait of the Puerto Rican actress Blanca de Castejón is an amazing study of eyelashes. The woman’s long lashes cast even longer shadows, adding a sense of amplified dramatic glamour to a modest eyes down pose. Priced at $15000.