Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 AIPAD Review, Part 1 of 4

The 2010 AIPAD Photography Show in New York last week was once again the dominant event on the annual American photography calendar, at least for collectors like us. With 76 exhibitors (mostly galleries and private dealers, but with a few booksellers thrown in for good measure), AIPAD remains the single best place to see the entire breadth of photography, from 19th century to contemporary, on display in one place at one time in the United States; collectors, curators, and photographers from all over the world come to New York specifically for this show just to see what is on view and available.

I made three separate trips to the show this year: a visit to the Wenesday night opening, as well as more focused sessions on Thursday and Friday afternoons. In between an active review of the booths, I met with all kinds of people: collectors large and small, working photographers, musuem curators, and particularly gallery owners/dealers. For the first time ever, I think I spent more time talking (and listening and learning) than I did looking. This is not to say that I didn't end each day with a glassy eyed stare, earned through an overload of visual stimulation; I just interleaved meetings into spurts of booth scouring for a completely full calendar.

This 2010 AIPAD Review will be divided into 4 parts. The first three posts will be the customary booth reports, with lists of the photographers on view (the number of pictures by each in parentheses) and some additional commentary or a specific image (and its details) as further illustration. Given the scope of this fair, I have not attempted to create a complete count of everything on display - there was just too much; there will only be reports on about half of the booths, mainly chosen by pictures that really grabbed my attention or that I subjectively thought deserved some additional discussion; those that have been ommitted were not any less good necessarily, they just didn't stop me in my tracks enough to keep me from relentlessly moving on. As an aside, I seem to have developed a kind of strange x-ray vision (perhaps a byproduct of too much fair-going) - I scan the contents of a booth and often a single image stands out as though lit by an invisible spotlight, while the rest of the images fall back into the blurry and less interesting periphery. It's a kind of "aha" moment, when something unexpected, unusual, or exciting is discovered amidst the normal smorgasbord of work we've generally seen before. The final post in the series will try to step up a level or two and consider some of the ideas, patterns, and conclusions I've drawn from this year's fair; seeing such a plethora of photography isn't just about checklists and prices - there are larger themes present that cut across easy divisions/summaries and are worth a little bit deeper discussion.

For those of you who can never get enough and like to compare alternate viewpoints, a few additional AIPAD reviews worth checking out are those by collector/blogger Evan Mirapaul (here), gallery owner/blogger James Danziger (here and here), and Ken Johnson of the NY Times (here).

So let's get started. The galleries presented are in no particular order, although I've tried to spread some favorites out across the three posts. Apologies for the marginal images, as they are often marred by reflections or glare:

Paul Hertzmann (here): Lisette Model (1), Harry Callahan (1), Ilse Bing (1), Lucia Moholy (1), Eugène Atget (1), Brassaï (1), Imogen Cunningham (2), Francis Bruguière (2), Leo Dohmen (1), Consuelo Kanaga (1), Edward Weston (2), Margaret Bourke-White (1), Ansel Adams (1), Osamu Shiihara (3), Gertrude Käsebier (1), Dorothea Lange (1), Gerard Petrus Fieret (1), plus 4 bins. We have quite a few Cunninghams in our collection and I can say unequivocally that the Cunningham nude of Portia Hume (1930) below was the best picture I saw at AIPAD this year. We have seen this image illustrated in several books over the years, but we have never seen an actual print of this work (vintage or otherwise) anywhere; it was already sold by the time I got to the booth at the opening night party.


Michael Shapiro Photographs (here): Ansel Adams (2), Frederick Sommer (1), Minor White (2), Edward Weston (2), Dorothea Lange (1), Brett Weston (1), Florence Henri (1), Margaret Bourke-White (2), Eugene Smith (1), Kurt Baasch (1), Martin Munkacsi (1), Robert Frank (2), Manuel Alvarez Bravo (2), Edward Steichen (1), Helen Levitt (1), Berenice Abbott (2), Irving Penn (1), Danny Lyon (1), Henri Cartier-Bresson (1), Hannes Beckmann (1), and a group of vernacular images on the outside wall (UPDATE: I misidentified these images, see the comments). While many of the visitors were crowded around a vintage Frank in this booth, I most enjoyed the simplicity of the Minor White image below, with its contrasts of pattern and texture. (Minor White, Abstraction: The Bird with the Misplaced Heart, 1948, at $12500)


Howard Greenberg Gallery (here): Frank Gohlke (3), Robert Frank (2), Saul Leiter (4), William Klein (1), Louis Faurer (4), Ted Croner (4), Miroslav Tichý (5), Bruce Davidson (1), and a wall of Photo League work (13).

Lee Gallery (here): Paul Outerbridge (1), Pierre Dubreuil (1), Alfred Stieglitz (1), Heinrich Kühn (1), Robert Frank (1), László Moholy-Nagy (1), Walker Evans (1), Ilse Bing (2), Dorothea Lange (1), Carleton Watkins (3), Henry Bosse (2), plus 2 bins. The thing I like most about visiting the Lees is that I always feel like I depart smarter than when I arrived; they are friendly and welcoming, while also being deeply knowledgeable about the works they have available. Over several conversations during the fair, we had a debate about the 1929 Kühn rubber plant bromoil and its place in the context of 1920s German floral photography, considered the supply of top material in the market, covered some of the intricacies of Outerbridge's carbo process, and admired the intersecting lines and geometries (as well as what is presumably the photographer's shadow) in the Moholy image below (Untitled (Woman on Ship Deck, Finland), 1930, at $30000).


Edwynn Houk Gallery (here): Robert Polidori (3), Joel Meyerowitz (1), Stephen Shore (4), Sebastiaan Bremer (1), Vera Lutter (1), Man Ray (1), Brassaï (3), André Kertész (1), Bill Brandt (1), Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1), Imogen Cunningham (1). The Houk booth was an even mix of contemporary and vintage material. I had not seen the terrific Vera Lutter below before; it was large and eye catching in the center of the booth - a new look at a very overworked subject (Times Square VII, 2007, at $75000).


Amador Gallery (here): Robert Voit (7), Olaf Otto Becker (2), Taiji Matsue (2). In contrast to most of the overstuffed booths in this fair, the Amador booth was clean and fresh, with just a handful of large color images filling the walls. Anecdotally, I heard that there was significant interest (from museums and collectors alike) in the Voit cell tower trees.

Richard Moore Photographs (here): Ralph Steiner (3), Russell Lee (1), Jack Delano (1), Arthur Rothstein (1), Morris Engel (1), Weegee (2), Irving Penn (1), Ansel Adams (1), Helen Levitt (1), Bill Owens (1), Garry Winogrand (1), Lewis Hine (1), Margrethe Mather (1), Frederick Evans (1), Clarence White (1), Karl Struss (1), Frank Eugene (1), Arnold Genthe (1), Frances Johnston (1), plus 3 bins. The 1950s Ralph Steiner below was an image that I hadn't seen before; I liked the mixture of tonalities and layers of geometries, and it reminded me of a similar composition by Jeff Wall. (Ralph Steiner, Bissell Factory, Employee Washroom, 1959, at $5500)


Weston Gallery (here): Eugene Cuvelier (1), Edouard Baldus (1), Linnaeus Tripe (1), J.B. Greene (1), Frederick Evans (1), Anonymous (1 cyanotype pair), Roger Fenton (2), Antoine Claudet (1), Eugène Atget (1), Rod Dresser (1), Roman Loranc (2), André Kertész (8), Edward Weston (3), Henri Cartier-Bresson (1), Paul Strand (3), Johan Hagemeyer (2), Brett Weston (2), Edward Steichen (2), Wynn Bullock (2), Ansel Adams (2), Harry Callahan (1), and a few more in the back room. The best flower image at AIPAD this year was this delicate Hagemeyer. (Johan Hagemeyer, Talisman Rose, 1938, at $20000.)


Hemphill Fine Arts (here): Godfrey Frankel (3), William Christenberry (8), Don Donaghy (5), Franz Jantzen (1), Kendall Messick (1).

Yancey Richardson Gallery (here): Esko Männikkö (3), Alex Prager (3), Sharon Core (2), Andrew Moore (2), Mitch Epstein (2), Hellen Van Meene (4), Hiroh Kikai (3), August Sander (3), Rudy Burckhardt (2), Laura Letinsky (1), Lisa Kereszi (1). This booth was quite similar in concept to the gallery's Armory booth. The bold Epstein on the outside wall was the perfect antidote for those overwhelmed by the sea of black and white vintage photography at the fair. (Mitch Epstein, Liquidation Sale V, 2000, at $11000)


Eric Franck Fine Art (here): Norman Parkinson (5), Enzo Sellerio (3), Henri Cartier-Bresson (5), Paul Hart (2), Chris Killip (4), Graham Smith (4), Al Vandenberg (6), Antanas Sutkus (4), Rimaldas Viksraitis (4), Marketa Luskacova (2), Jindrich Streit (4), Josef Koudelka (3), Lottie Davies (3). Graham Smith was a new discovery for me. The image below has echoes of Brassaï's bar scenes, but with an English sensibility and a wonderful undertone of humor. (Graham Smith, I Thought I Saw Liz Taylor and Bob Mitchum in the Back Room of the Commercial, UK, 1984 at $5000.)


Photology (here): Helmut Newton (5), Carlo Mollino (8), Maura Banfo (4), Yasumasa Morimura (8), Andy Warhol (1), Robert Mapplethorpe (8), Gian Paolo Barbieri (5), Mario Schifano (4), Nobuyoshi Araki (4), Luigi Ghirri (4), Christopher Makos (11). A booth full of Polaroids by various artists.
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Continue to Part 2 here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a complete roundup of the show!
I believe the "group of vernacular images" you mentioned on the outside wall at Michael Shapiro are actually contemporary prints by Jefferson Hayman.

dlkcollection said...

Really? I assumed that given the jumble of period frames that they were vernacular. It just shows that I didn't look closely enough to discern the difference. My apologies to the artist and gallery for not looking more carefully.

Anonymous said...

Hi , Jefferson here. Yes indeed , those are my contemporary prints. No worries tho! Keep up the great work; love this blog.