This is Part 4 (of 5) of our summary report on Paris Photo 2019, focusing on the far left area of the fair.
Part 1 of the survey (here) explains the format used in the detailed slideshow below, and sets the stage for the discussion. So while it is certainly possible to jump directly into any one of these individual reports and start digging, return to the beginning if you want a bit more context. Part 2 can be found here and Part 3 can be found here.
Stephen Bulger Gallery (here): The vertical stripes in this work by Sanaz Mazinani oscillate back and forth, courtesy of a two-image lenticular print structure. While lenticulars are often used for pairing image opposites or changing expressions, the technique is clearly effective with abstract subject matter as well, as it seems to place the colored lines in continuous motion. Priced at €5000.
Braverman Gallery (here): Cyrus Kabiru’s hand-crafted face masks made from pieces of scrap metal, wires, and other discarded and scavenged junk are consistently unexpected and innovative. This work uses what looks like a four-holed piece from an engine to make a set of funky “glasses” that vaguely resemble a boombox. Printed extra large, his self-portraits take on an even more muscular sense of symbolism. Priced at €5000.
Flowers Gallery (here): This series of images by Tom Lovelace turns cut plywood boards into an iterative exercise in sculptural reordering. Knots, curves, and cutouts pile up in layers, shift, and reappear, in washed out tones that emphasize edges and shadows. While the setup is simple, the results are surprisingly elegant. Priced at €8000 for the set.
Akio Nagasawa Gallery (here): We wrote about Lin Zhipeng’s photobook Flowers and Fruits earlier this year (here), so it was great to see several of his prints from that edit show up in this booth. Flash lit, overtly sexy, and full of youthful provocation, Lin’s photographs reset our assumptions about contemporary Chinese culture, adding a slice of the surreal to everyday playfulness. Priced at €1800 each.
Akio Nagasawa Gallery (here): This mid 1990s vintage print from Daido Moriyama is a textural symphony, from the background brickwork and the bent plastic piping to the metal scaffolding and the train tracks. The alignment of the geometries cuts the composition into a grid of sections, and the light and dark tonalities encourage our eye to traverse the different surfaces. It’s a crisply ordered and controlled composition, drawn out from everyday urban surroundings. Priced at €5000.
Robert Hershkowitz Ltd. (no website): This mid 1850s landscape by Roger Fenton is largely a study of trees and texture, with the dappled light across the leaves and grasses creating shimmering effects. But what caught my eye is how Fenton placed the secondary view of the house into the tiny gap in the trees at the far right, and then used the dirt road and the fence to ultimately lead us there after we’ve spent time looking at the majesty of the trees. Priced at €25000.
Nicholas Metivier Gallery (here): Edward Burtynsky’s newest project takes ambitious aim at “Africa”. This image flies over an iron ore mine in South Africa, the tire swipes pushing the colored dirt into rounded tufts and piles that look like Impressionist brushstrokes or the cloth strips of a knotted rug. Priced at $50000.
Galerie Lelong (here): As seen in a handful of new works in this booth, David Hockney continues to experiment with the possibilities of digital photography. This 2018 image aggregates dozens of photographic cutouts into a mirrored composition that doubles and reverses the setup, adding in another layer of complexity. It is at once realistic and painterly, in an almost deliberately awkward way, as if Hockney is continuing to search for and refine his own aesthetic within the boundaries imposed by the new tools. Priced at €60000.
Atlas Gallery (here): Roughly half of the space in this booth was allotted to prints from Sam Haskins, and in particular his 1966 series November Girl. These three vintage prints have a particularly sensual 60s vibe, especially the closer in portrait with the grainy details and the gap toothed smile. Priced at €6000 each.
Van der Grinten Galerie (here): This booth was dedicated to the work of Karl Hugo Schmölz, and this 1938 railway tunnel image was one of the strongest pictures on view. The strongly receding lines of perspective draw us down the tracks, creating a claustrophobic tightness. Priced at €10000.
Galerie Johannes Faber (here): This 1933 contact sheet enlargement from André Kertész’ famous nude distortions series actually shows the original image and the grease pencil crop the artist used to make the final print. It’s a fascinating look at how his eye reframed the results into something more tightly disorienting. Priced at €8700.
Galerie Johannes Faber (here): I have always wondered why there aren’t more photographs that take compositional advantage of the architectural wonders of the Grand Palais, so when I saw this 1956 multiple exposure image from Otto Steinert, I knew it needed to be discussed. Steinert inverts the tonalities and then smartly overlaps the ribs of the glass roof with the stone stairs, creating an eerily interlocked and striped effect. Priced at €24000.
Galerie Johannes Faber (here): The shine on the drapery in this 1948 fashion image by Martin Munkácsi is what makes the picture so memorable – the folds of the dress are sculpted like luminescent stone. And as an aside, squint your eyes and you’ll see an uncanny formal resemblance to Richard Avedon’s portrait of Nureyev’s foot. Priced at €12000.
Louise Alexander Gallery (here): The tented bent leg in this 1969 composition that Guy Bourdin made for Vogue is an inspired bit of compositional misdirection. Of course, the model’s body couldn’t have bent to form this triangled shape, and so there are two bodes in play. Even when we comprehend the illusion, it’s still a boldly structured and memorable picture. Priced at €20200 for a modern print.
Laurence Miller Gallery (here)/Equinox Gallery (here): Sunlight cast on shadowed city pedestrians becomes the subject of this intricate 1966 work by Ray Metzker. Each strip is a frieze of gestures – walking, turning, talking, waiting – and the movement gently pulls the viewer back and forth. Priced at €43000.
Kahmann Gallery (here): Since most of Gerard Petrus Fieret’s best known works are intimate interior studies (generally of women), this shop window study of hairdryer boxes and a shiny mirrored light fixture is something of an outlier. But its posed playfulness somehow feels like a fit for Fieret’s aesthetic, his usual grittiness given a more commercial sheen. Priced at €17500.
Kahmann Gallery (here): The female nudes of the Dutch photographer Sanne Sannes are known for their mysterious eroticism, and this double exposure image is no exception to that rule. The doubled eyes and elbows create a confusing portrait, where the arched eyebrows add a twist of alternate personality. Priced at €11500.
Only Photography (here): This interwoven tire image by René-Jacques overlaps a simple pattern again and again. The result is an all-over weave of textured lines, the rhythmic reversed whiteness all the more dazzling. Priced at €3800.
Huxley-Parlour (here): This collaged portrait of Andy Warhol by Arnold Newman was tucked on an interior wall, so many will have missed its unusual strangeness. Newman’s 1973 portrait has been cut up and relayered (in 1988), with Warhol’s wisp of blond hair pulled to the side like a curved handle. The three shape-shifting copies wrestle with each other, never quite allowing his face to resolve into one single view. Priced at €40000.
England & Co. Gallery (here): This performative 1982 collage by Anne Bean (entitled Who Speaks My Voice?) offers extremes of silhouetted action, from lips harshly pulled open by binder clips to bulging eyes. It emphatically exaggerates an undesired intrusion and loss of control. Priced at €4500.
Part 5 of this report can be found here.
Read more about: André Kertész, Anne Bean, Arnold Newman, Cyrus Kabiru, Daido Moriyama, David Hockney, Edward Burtynsky, Gerard Petrus Fieret, Guy Bourdin, Karl Hugo Schmölz, Lin Zhipeng (No. 223), Martin Munkácsi, Otto Steinert, Ray K. Metzker, René-Jacques, Roger Fenton, Sam Haskins, Sanaz Mazinani, Sanne Sannes, Tom Lovelace, Akio Nagasawa Gallery, Atlas Gallery, Braverman Gallery, England & Co. Gallery, Equinox Gallery, Flowers Gallery, Galerie Johannes Faber, Galerie Lelong, Huxley-Parlour, Kahmann Gallery, Laurence Miller Gallery, Louise Alexander Gallery, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Only Photography, Robert Hershkowitz, Ltd., Stephen Bulger Gallery, Van der Grinten Galerie, Paris Photo