Harper’s Books (here): “Big Bob” Johnson, Archive, 1972-Present, (not for individual sale, sold only as an archive).
This archive of approximately 2,500, 3” x 5”, color photographs, all taken in LA by one of the first members (or founders) of the Crips, was a stand out. Johnson has a good eye for composition, and he has created a fascinating, poetic, and in-depth portrait of his world. Some funny, some gritty; it is hard to stop looking. (Satiric Dancer lower left?)
Lam Gallery (here): Zoe Crosher, Out the Window (LAX) Travelodge, 2004, $15,000.
From one of my favorite photographers working in LA, Travelodge is a great image from a series of 31 photographs of planes landing at LAX. Each is shot from the inside of every hotel/motel that surrounds the airport. When viewed as a series, Crosher’s examination of place is even stronger. I love the juxtaposition of interior and exterior spaces, and the dueling concepts of coming and going, of permanence and transience, and of fantasy and reality – how very LA.
OHWOW Gallery (here): David Benjamin Sherry, Siskiyou, CA, 2015, $10,000.
Sherry creates surreal visions of the landscape by altering and manipulating color in the darkroom. The intensely unnatural hues let us experience the landscape in a new way, and we’re reminded of the evocative power of color.
Gallery Paule Anglim (here): Lynn Hershman Leeson, Phantom, 1984, $30,000.
An original collage made of photographs mounted on illustration board, exploring female identity and its relationship to technology and the media.
Scheublein + Bak (here): Oskar Schmidt, Cookware and Paper Bag, 2011, $4,900/$6,900 (depending on size).
Another stand out for me was Oskar Schmidt’s photographs from The American Series, which look back through the history of photography to Walker Evans. Shot in a life-size set fabricated in the artist’s Berlin studio, the boards and props appear to be plucked out of Evans’ scenes. Schmidt’s photographs are all about precise composition, atmosphere, and place. They are less about humanity than Evans’, but one can’t help thinking Allie Mae is just inside the dark doorways.
Louise Alexander Gallery (here): Guy Bourdin, Untitled, 1970s-80s, $25,000.
I was familiar with Bourdin’s fashion and editorial work, but it was nice to see a group of early black and white Polaroids. I like the Film Noir feeling of this image.
Flowers Gallery (here): Nadav Kander, Priozersk XIV (I was told she once held an oar), Kazakhstan, 2011, $17,000.
This beautiful image was taken in a deserted Kazakhstan town that was once the site of Russian atomic bomb and missile testing (only recently “discovered” by a Google Earth satellite). The soft colors and the peaceful stillness of sky and sea are initially alluring, but the reality that the landscape is radioactive and tainted by a sinister past, makes the whole scene seem somehow apocalyptic. I love Kander’s eye for strange beauty, and his ability to make beautiful photographs that aren’t just pretty pictures.
Diane Rosenstein Fine Art (here): Eleanor Antin, I dreamt I was a ballerina!, 1973, $30,000.
A vintage silver print and halftone postcard depicting Antin as a ballerina. Antin’s work is performative as she explores female identity through assuming the roles archetypal female characters.
Martin Asbaek Gallery (here): Astrid Kruse Jensen, Within the Landscape #8, 2013, $5,500/$7,000 (depending on size).
One of several lovely, ethereal, and dreamy images by Jensen.
Hamiltons Gallery (here): Daido Moriyama, Tokyo, 1974, printed 2013, $35,000.
This silkscreen on canvas is…well…just really cool. The texture and sheen of the ink on the canvas is rich and seductive, and the piece certainly evokes Warhol in both subject and process.
Tristan Hoare Gallery (here): Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre, Locker Room, Hugo Mine, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 2009, $9,000.
Cages in the now abandoned Hugo Mine in Germany from Marchand & Meffre’s Industry Series. These cages are where the workers would put their belongings when they were working in the mine. A fascinating and oddly beautiful image created by the delicate cages hanging in such an industrial space.
Von Lintel Gallery (here): Klea McKenna, Rain Study (Kona) 15, 2015, $4000.
A unique photogram of rain on gelatin silver paper. In person the raindrops are clear and defined like little pear shaped diamonds.
Etherton Gallery (here): Ralph Gibson, Malibu Bikini, from Days at Sea, 1974, printed 2015, $12,000-$18,000 (increases as edition sells).
Etherton Gallery had a solo booth featuring Gibson’s nudes in 30” x 40” and 40” x 60” gelatin silver prints. Gibson has previously not printed his work this large, and the result is terrific, as the graininess adds to the tactile quality of the bodies. This is my personal favorite. Others are more abstract.
Cherry and Martin (here): Lew Thomas, ALPHA-BET, 1972, printed 2015, $8,500.
The gallery had a solo booth of Lew Thomas’s conceptual photographs, which I’m still trying to wrap by head around. I’m not sure I totally get it (yet), but I like it.
Suzanne Tarasiève (here): Juergen Teller, Joan Didion, Céline Campaign Spring Summer 2015, New York, 2015, $23,000.
Joan Didion just confirming I’ll never be that cool.
Royal Books (here): Dick Miller, 1959, $3,000.
A fun vintage press photo of Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder (right) shooting Some Like it Hot (United Artists, 1959).
Marc Selwyn Fine Art (here): William Wegman, Left Right Black White, 2015, $18,000.
What’s not to like?
California Unedited! Archives of R.J. Arnold (here): R.J. Arnold, Untitled, ca. 1886-1898, (not for sale).
A special exhibition of photographs made from the glass plate negatives of a 19th century studio photographer in San Louis Obispo, CA, offers a glimpse into the lives of early Californians. I liked the portraits of children who looked like mini adults.