AIPAD @35: A Return To Photographic Essence

The Park Avenue Armory in NYC is now showing the 35th year of the Association of International Photographic Art Dealers, and this year is spectacular!
With a first pass along the perimeter and the lanes, the showing of 89 different dealers photo dealers in this elegant space felt like an overall return to a greater sense of the classic sense of photography.
2 years ago we saw dealers searching for a voice in a new world, it seemed.
Last year was a cacophony of imagery that must not have found it’s mark with collectors.
I say that because the feeling this year is more like smooth, quality, jazz, with a respect to traditional photography, beautiful presentations of mid-century work, and a nod to the brand new in fewer galleries. The new work is still there, but not as brash as before.

Speaking about the presentations, there is a holistic feeling to the show, where the work shines. This year, there are more privacy coves within the displays, so you get a better sense of being alone with the work. Brilliant!

Now the work: It opens with a walk past some Annie Leibowitz photographs that you may not expect. No person appears in them.
Go around the corner and you’ll see massive new print from Alex Soth. Again, new work by a current master, from an emerging series. Fresh.

At the Fetterman Gallery, Stephen Wilkes was on hand to show some of his brilliant Day/Night series, and shared a sneak new piece on his iPad, not yet printed, from Africa. Imagine a watering hole where eventually every animal needs to access, covered in his unique style of day to night. He may be there all week, so ask to see it.

Danzinger Gallery was showing contemporary work by Enoc Perez, which while combining mediums, had a quieter shout to them, and not overwhelming to the senses, but arresting.


There is a great wall of Joel Meyerwitz work near the entrance at the Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Sandy Skoglund, Knees in tub, 1977,Sandy Skoglund, Knees in tub, 1977. C-print, 40.5 x 40.5 cm Courtesy Paci Contemporary, Brescia/Porto Cervo, Italy

Paci Contemporary was showing some Sandy Skogland unpublished work, which was a great find in the show. Her well known monochromatic set pieces, were complimented by real world images with a root sense of her color themes.

Edmund Teske, Three Children with Halloween Masks, c. 1938-39Edmund Teske, Three Children with Halloween Masks, c. 1938-39 Vintage gelatin silver print, 9 5/16 x 7 13/16 inches© Estate of Edmund Teske, Courtesy Gitterman Gallery, New York

The Gitterman Gallery
went classic as well with this Edmund Teske image. And Tom Gitterman is a true gentleman to work with, who will give you great advice on collecting as well. Heck, he wrote a book on it!

Margaret Bourke-White, Backstage – Burlesque Chorines, 1936Margaret Bourke-White, Backstage – Burlesque Chorines, 1936 Silver gelatin contact print, 16.8 x 12.0 cm. © Margaret Bourke-White © Life. Courtesy Daniel Blau, Munich/London

The Daniel Blau Gallery, who has usually gone for the different way into a subject, ala his time with iconic news images, comes back with a classic showing including the Margaret Bourke-White image above.

Catherine Edelman Gallery had a great mix of vintage and current work, so make sure you stop by there.

Stephen Kasher Gallery brought you in with a massive Daido Moriayma image.

The prices are getting into a great place as well, with some kind of correction in the market. What I mean to say is that, if you were waiting to start a collection, now could be the time. An abundance of quality work from reputable dealers
You will see some images repeated in a few galleries, but not heavily.

One theme that seemed to emerge were photographs of cameras. Great photos, but low hanging fruit? “Hey, I like photography, and even have a brownie. Maybe a photo of a camera will help emphasize that?”
There are some well priced books, if the originals are not in your budget, but not many that I saw. There is a William Klein book you should consider, wire bound black and white abstract images. $25.
By 3 hours into the preview, there were a number of red dots to be seen (attached to photographs’ description cards, meaning images were sold)
Overall, the show is a good reflection of the market, and with a majority of dealers returning to more classic stylings, and the shift is very welcome to me. You will see contemporary images, but the presentational vibe is not as jarring as in recent years.
it’s well deserved glory as a premier venue to see and purchase quality photography.
And if you feel that you are a photographic artist, have a look and see what the market is selling.
I will say that there was no Loretta Lux type standout. Unicorns are hard to find.
If you are in New York City, make your way to:

Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065

From April 16-19 so hurry up.
I imagine many of these dealers will be at Paris-Photo LA!

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