Monday, March 30, 2009


My friend Jay posted a comment in response to my assertion that the just finished AIPAD Fair “offered encouraging signs that we're on our way out of the worst as far as the economy is concerned." and asked me to elaborate. As he pointed out, it’s often useful to look for economic indicators beyond the headlines.

So to elaborate, the fair was a smash in terms of attendance. I don’t have the number but every day for five days the Armory was packed. The general consensus among dealers was that financially they were ahead of expectations particularly in terms of $ volume rather than number of prints sold. So people weren’t just buying cheap stuff, they were buying good stuff. Most importantly, after my previous two visits to the same Armory just weeks ago to the ADAA (Art Dealer’s Association of America) Show and the Works on Paper Show – two of the glummest shows I’ve been to in a long time – the energy level at AIPAD was through the roof. At the end of the fair, I thanked one of the organizers and told him “I’m very happy.” And he replied that for the first time in many years this was the exact phrase nearly every one had used. In previous years people had said “I had a great fair” or “I had a lousy fair” or “I sold a shit-load of work” but never before had people said they were happy!

Welcome to spring.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Aisle 4

After nearly a week of living in the Armory, we're now on our last day. (It runs from 11 - 6 today.) Art fairs are both energizing and exhausting, but overall this one has been great - showing not just the strength and depth of interest in photography, but also offering encouraging signs that we're on our way out of the worst as far as the economy is concerned.

Aisle 4, by coincidence, seemed to offer the most of the old favorites starting with Cartier-Bresson's "Easter Sunday. Harlem. New York. 1947" at Eric Franck (above).

Across the aisle at Robert Mann, a particularly nice early print of Ansel Adams' "Moonrise" at Robert Mann.

At Gitterman, a late 1920s photo of the Brooklyn Bridge by William D. Richardson.

At Michael Shapiro a 1968 Pirkle Jones from his Black Panther documentary series. Here a couple at a Free Huey Rally in Oakland, CA.

And providing equal opportunity to the male nude, a 1984 photograph by Edna Bullock from a series clearly responding to Edward Weston.

Lastly at Shapiro, a 1965 Jim Marshall of the Rolling Stones at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium.

At Mack Lee, Edward Weston's seminal "Tina Reciting" from 1924.

At Photology a trio of small Luigi Ghirri's anticipating Thomas Struth's museum series.

At Fetterman, a Sebastiao Salgado from his latest series of endangered landscapes.

And an Alan Grant of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the 1956 Academy Awards.

At Deborah Bell, Louis Faurer's classic "Bowing at the Collections"

And now truly last from AIPAD, but not least - at Edwynn Houk, Lynn Davis's new "Iguaza Falls, Brazil".

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Aisle 3

Aisle 3 seems a little sleepy at first, but it has a subtle charm different from the other aisles. Case in point, the above Atget of roses at Gallery 19/21.

Next comes one of the sleeper hits of the show, a cabinet of dozens of photographs of the same woman, obsessively framed and arranged, in the cornucopia of vernacular photographs that fill the booth of David Winter of Winter Works on Paper.

The full cabinet.

Detail of the above.

One of many good things at Contemporary Works/Vintage Works - a Mapplethorpe of Lisa Lyon's legs.

And one of my favorite Irving Penn photographs - "Girl in Bed" from 1949.

Also at Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, I thought I'd seen most of the good Inauguration photos but this pigment print made from a daguerrotype by master dag maker Jerry Spagnoli was a nice mix of old and new.

At Yancey Richardson, a row of portraits of Russian and and Latvian children by Dutch photographer Helen Van Meene.

At Bonni Benrubi a vibrant new Camera Obscura image by Abelardo Morell.

And at Hemphill, a now scarce row of cinema screen pictures by Hiroshi Sugimoto.These were made by leaving the shutter open for the entire duration of a film's projection making the screen go totally white while lighting the ambient location.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Aisle 2

Day two dawned on AIPAD with huge crowds and many friends and photographers dropping by including Ruth Ansel, Lynn Davis, and Richard Misrach. I continued my travels with camera down Aisle 2 and here as promised a few more of my personal picks out of the hundreds of pictures on view. Above an impressive Shinichi Maruyama at Bruce Silverstein.

Also at Silverstein this very early, almost 19th Century looking landscape by Brett Weston.

On the outside of Houk's booth, one of the greatest color photographs of all times, Joel Meyrowitz's photo-realist appearing "Dairyland" from 1976.

At Throckmorton, this intensely colored Nicholas Murray of Frieda Kahlo.

At Richard Moore - a Dorothea Lange for our time. "Daughter of Migrant Tennessee Coal Miner. Sacramento, California, 1936".

At Keith DeLellis a great Louise Dahl-Wolfe for the fashionistas.

At Higher Pictures a Scott Peterman of New York.

An explosive still life by Martin Klimas at Foley.

At Robert Morat, a quiet landscape by Peter Bialobrzeski.

And for literary types, this Irving Penn of Gisele at Rick Wester.

At Robert Klein, a rare shot of Marilyn Monroe by Garry Winogrand.

And last but not least - at Greenberg, this cool fellow by Leon Levinstein. You talkin' to me?

Aisle 3 tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


An addendum - I had wanted one of Katharine Wolkoff's silhouette pictures for my booth - specifically to go next to Julia Margaret Cameron's profile of Alice Liddell. But UPS screwed up and the picture arrived late. Nevertheless it went up this morning and has already been much admired!

Aisle 1

The 29th annual AIPAD Photography show got off to a rollicking start last night with one of the best looking amalgam of booths ever. Modesty aside, I'll start with pictures of my own booth (above and below) and then move on to a highly subjective selection of some of the pictures that grabbed my attention from other dealers. With four aisles of about twenty booths each, I'm going to parse out my picks over the next few days starting with Aisle 1 today and ending up with Aisle 4 on Sunday, the last day of the fair. Again, if you're any where near NYC, this is one of the highlights of the photography year so try to make it and be sure to say hello.

Danziger Projects

Danziger Projects

Danziger Projects

Danziger Projects

Exhibitors were asked to select one photographer from their booth as an "Innovator" in the medium. I chose The Sartorialist.

Charles Hartman chose Corey Arnold, a deep-sea fisherman and photographer!

Also at Hartman, a smart pairing of Harry Callahan and Garry Winogrand.

At Joel Soroka, a Mamet worthy Robert Frank from his rarely seen 1955 series on Cadillac salesmen.

At William Schaeffer, an unusual Weston dune from 1936.

At Paul Hertzman, George Gardner, "Ozark Mountains, Southern Missouri, 1967"

Also at Hertzman, a rare variant from Edward Weston's seminal "Nude on the Dune" series.

At Andrea Meislin, this emotional photograph by Micha Bar-Am of hostages hugging the Israeli paratroopers who successfully freed them from the hijacked plane at Entebbe Airport in 1976.

At Joseph Bellows this pair of midwestern landscapes by John Priola.

And a 1930 X-Ray of a lily by Dr. Dain L. Tasker.

At Hyperion Press, this sweet silhouetted shot of Venice by Willy Ronis.

And a fabulous tiny circular gem by Man Ray of the greatest profile of all times - Lee Miller!

And another tiny print -this one by Jacques Henri Lartigue.

At Scott Nichols, An Avedon of Jack and Jackie Kennedy signed by everyone!

At Janet Sirmon, a fun fashion photo for LIFE Magazine by Yale Joel. I need to see whether it predates Elliott Erwitt's more famous similar pictures.

At Miller Block Gallery, a group titled "Consumer Garden", pictures of flowers made from recycled material.

And last but not least, one of several aerial photographs sprinkled around the show - "Dinghies Clustered Around Dock" by Alex MacClean.

Stay tuned for highlights from Aisle 2 tomorrow.