Gitterman Gallery (here): This 1952 negative image of tires by Robert Catherineau is effortlessly simple, but still engagingly strange. The floating repetition of curving treads seem to be self-replicating, marching off into the distance in ordered textural lines that glow with surreal brightness. Priced at $7000.
Gitterman Gallery (here): Visual instability reigns in this subtle new work by Christiane Feser. Starting with the framework of a woven rope grid, which creates the pattern onto which the artist has layered stick pins of varying lengths and colored tips (in white, silver, black), Feser has then rephotographed the assemblage and physically added more pins to the same locations, creating a shifting doubled effect, with overlapping shadows and layered image/object dualities. It’s a work that functions best up close, where its many visual contradictions refuse to be resolved. Priced at $9500.
Michael Hoppen Gallery (here): Many of the most notable photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue bring together intense motion (sometimes in the form of car racing), the lives, fashions, and trappings of the upper classes, and a particular interest in women. This jumping tennis player from 1921 checks all those boxes, capturing both feet off the ground in an athletic lunge (for the ball which is also caught in mid air). Priced at $46000.
Michael Hoppen Gallery (here): While John Bulmer would go on to have a long and successful career in British photography, some his earliest images were made while he was a student at Cambridge. This steep angled looking down shot came from a 1958 series he did on the so-called Night Climbers – students who were illicitly climbing the university buildings. The series (which he sold to LIFE magazine a year layer) got Bulmer expelled. Priced at $1850.
Michael Hoppen Gallery (here): The influence of Man Ray seems likely when thinking about this surreal doubled nude from 1950 by the Japanese photographer Koichi Sako. Seen in both positive and negative tonalities and arranged to create a high contrast mirrored effect, it abstracts the body to such a degree that the work becomes a study of scalloped form. Already sold.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): Photographic studies of time have been done in countless forms, but this one by Annie Hsaio-Ching Wang smartly uses nested rephotography to layer the passing years directly on top of each other. At various moments in their lives together (including while she was pregnant, but also various holidays, birthdays, and the day they reached the same height), Wang has made joint portraits with her son, always placing the previous image on the wall behind them. As seen in this serial presentation, the years pass, the images telescope in, and the son grows from an infant to an adult. Priced at $26000 for the set of 12 prints.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): The old school in-camera multiple exposure remains a seductive technique, as seen in this 1955 reversal by Charles Swedlund. The car, with its streamlined edges and whitewall tires, seems to hover like a ghost, coming and going as echoes of circles and window squares. Priced at $7000.
Stephen Daiter Gallery (here): Dawoud Bey’s large format Polaroid portraits from the late 1990s continue to age well. This three panel work changes the area of attention, from cheek to nose to lips, gently building up an aggregate picture of the complexity of an introspective individual. Priced at $45000.
Michael Shapiro Photographs (no website): This unusual exhibition work from Margaret Bourke-White mats together three separate images, mixing a blast furnace at the Ford plant, the silhouetted girders of a dam in the former USSR, and the storage tanks of a Texaco facility. The lines and curves of the three pictures jut and bend in complementary directions, creating an integrated presentation of early 1930s industrial Modernism. Priced at $120000.
Michael Shapiro Photographs (no website): The elongated shadows in this tactile Pierre Dubreuil print from 1928 seem to drift and fall from the edges of the eyeglass frames. If we think of photography as a medium activated by light, this setup is a prime example, with complex flares and hollows of dark and light created by the very simplest of light interactions. POR.
Michael Shapiro Photographs (no website): Every other print I have ever seen of these 1948 Harry Callahan cattails has been the size of an intimate postage stamp, so to see an actual enlargement where the gestures of the reeds feel more muscular and calligraphic was altogether extraordinary. The black lines seem to move up the page with sinuous grace, turning the natural forms into ethereal elemental motion. Apparently the print was owned by Aaron Siskind, which would make sense, given their long artistic friendship. POR.
Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc. (here): This booth featured a number of late 1920s photograph works from Eberhard Schrammen. Schrammen studied at the Bauhaus, where he was particularly interested in woodcuts, engravings, furniture, and wooden toys. His photograms or foto-grafiks, like this one from Berlin, leverage some of that same aesthetic thinking, creating scenes out of the layering of cut geometric forms and stencils. Priced at $28000.
Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc. (here): This warm toned vintage print of Imogen Cunningham’s Iris from c1925 is lovely Modernist rarity. Her vantage point is tightly narrowed in, seeing the tactile petals of the flower with delicacy. Such an image could (and should) happily compete with a Georgia O’Keeffe floral painting from the same period. POR.
Galería Vasari (here): This 1940s era promotional image by Annemarie Heinrich incorporates some photographic lenses (used as paperweights), the letters of her own name (as a cast shadow), and several images by her into a whirlwind of compositional complexity. After seeing this setup, how could you not hire her? Priced at $15000.
Richard Moore Photographs (here): This print of Dorothea Lange’s young cotton picker from 1940 was made as a part of a duplicate set of exhibition prints made for MoMA in 1965. It’s an engrossing image made from a slightly underneath vantage point, pulling us into the visual echoes of the cotton blossoms, the pattern of her headscarf, and her freckles. Priced at $25000.
Lee Gallery (here): This austerely minimal Lewis Baltz image from his 1971 series of suburban tract houses pares architectural elements down to simple flat planes of light and dark. It’s a severe kind of vision, with the textures of brick work and stucco adding a subtle tactile element to an otherwise precise geometric study. Priced at $20000.
Lee Gallery (here): This 1896 gum bichromate print by Robert Demachy certainly has a soft focus Pictorialist aesthetic, and its overt resemblance to a pastel drawing is wherein its charm lies. The single ballerina seems to disappear into shadowy approximation, her leotard and tutu becoming a bright edge and a few resonant gestures. Priced at $30000.
CLAMP (here): This booth offered an engagingly varied survey of queer portraiture, with this understated 1993 work by Eric Rhein as one of its more indirect highlights. The unbalanced composition is filled with airy whiteness, the two bodies resting with gentle intimacy. Priced at $2400.
Deborah Bell Photographs (here): One of New York City’s responses to the pandemic was the widespread adoption of outdoor dining, generally housed in makeshift structures built on the sidewalk or in the street in front of restaurants. A series of recent images by Wijnanda Deroo looks more closely at this improvised architecture, capturing both its can do spirit and its hollow emptiness. This image layers together various textural elements, with the bright yellow of taxis and a school bus seen through each cut through plastic window. Priced at $4000.
Momentum (here): This warmhearted image comes from Holly Lynton’s series Bare Handed, which took shape as a photobook in 2022 (reviewed here). The scene echoes a classic Madonna and child pose, with the young girl protecting the turkeys in a flutter of flying feathers. The flashes of red in the image create a burst of energy against the dark and light contrasts. Priced at $2800.
Paci Contemporary (here): This 1970 image by Miguel Rio Branco has stylish urban mood. Between the gloriously crumpled hood of the car and the dark suit and shiny black shoes of the man, the scene feels like an exhausted morning after or a staged murder. Priced at $7500.
Augusta Edwards Fine Art (here): Fran May was a discovery for me at this year’s fair. A student of Bill Brandt’s in the early 1970s, May made a series of portraits of people living in mobile homes and trailers in Leeds. Taken during the day, while the men were at work, she sensitively engaged with mothers and children, documenting lives on the margins. Priced at $1000.
Reflex Amsterdam (here): This image comes from a new series Eveningside by Gregory Crewdson. Returning to the richness of black-and-white, this picture feels less overtly mannered than many of his recent efforts, capturing a surreal moment with an ice machine with a dose of film noir tension. Priced at $40000.
Laurence Miller Gallery (here): This 2018 work from Anastasia Samoylova comes from her series Breakfasts With, where she has merged breakfast still lifes with some of her favorite photobooks. This particular image matches Dora Maar with a crepe, the surreal hand reaching out of one shell toward another. The clouds and the surface of the coffee provide a similarly clever visual echo. Priced at $3900.
Jenkins Johnson Gallery (here): Just after hoping that we would see more of the expressive side of Ming Smith’s career (as articulated in this review of her current MoMA show here), a series of her overpainted images has been reprinted. This image of gardens in Harlem adds layers of subtle purple and yellow overpainting to the composition, giving the branches a Pictorial sense of blurred gestural softness. Priced at $42000.