Whether you are a nascent or seasoned collector, or simply interested in honing your visual eye, you can see a broad range of amazing photographs and photo-based work at the annual Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) Photography Show held in New York at the Park Avenue Armory every spring. Acting as the collective voice of the art photography dealers that make up its membership, AIPAD, according to the group’s mission statement, “is dedicated to creating and maintaining high standards in the business of exhibiting, buying and selling photographs as art.”
Celebrating its 35th year, the 2015 AIPAD Photography Show New York was held April 16-19 and featured 89 exhibitors from North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. Attendance was strong in spite of the long-awaited and spectacular spring weather. I was delighted to be among the 12,000 people who visited the fair to pour over the fantastic photographic offerings from across the world.
The works on view run the gamut from early cased portraits and vernacular material to contemporary photography. Nineteenth-century photography is well represented as is 20th century modernism, social documentary work, abstract imagery, and even time-based media. At AIPAD, there is always something for everyone!
Here are some of my highlights:
- First, a shout out to our Boston-area friends Robert Klein Gallery (Boston) and Lee Gallery (Winchester)! Klein showed a range of strong work from Alfred Stieglitz to Cig Harvey while Lee had an exquisite 1901 platinum print by Edward Steichen among other treasures.
- Charles Schwartz Ltd. (New York) had an ambrotype of figures at Niagara Falls by 19th century American photographer Platt Babbitt taken from the same vantage point (Prospect Point Pavilion) as the one in Skinner’s May 29th American and European Prints and Photographs auction.
- Charles Isaacs Photographs (New York) showcased beautiful Linnaeus Tripe prints made from waxed paper negatives. The British photographer worked in Burma and India in the 1850s, and his prints are unusual because they are a hybrid of salted paper and albumen print processes and demonstrate the technological advances in photography that evolved in the nineteenth century. An exhibition of Tripe’s photographs is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 25th.
- Deborah Bell Photographs (New York) had several exquisite platinum prints by American photographer Paul Outerbridge, Jr. The intimate still life and nude subjects are examples of Outerbridge’s early work from the 1920s.
- The career of African American photographer, filmmaker, and writer Gordon Parks was well-represented at the fair by black-and-white images from several well-known series, including work produced for LIFE magazine at Jenkins Johnson Gallery (San Francisco), as well as recent prints of color work made in Alabama in 1956 at Jackson Fine Art (Atlanta).
- I always love seeing the motel facades and original (now retro) signage in John Schott’s photographs taken along Route 66 in the mid-1970s at Joseph Bellows Gallery (La Jolla, CA).
- Photographs from the 1960s and 1970s by African artists Malick Sidibé and J.D. Okhai Ojeikere (who passed away in 2014) at Gallery Fifty One (Antwerp, Belgium) held both artistic appeal and cultural interest.
- I discovered the street and studio portraits by Belgian photographer Jacques Sonck beginning in the mid-1970s at AIPAD several years ago. L. Parker Stephenson Photographs (New York) displayed an intriguing grid of a variety of characters from all walks of life captured by Sonck.
- One of this year’s finds was gelatin silver prints from the series P-shadows (1984) by Dawid, a Swedish artist who makes photo-based work, on view at Grundemark Nilsson Gallery (Berlin).
- I was also intrigued by the work of Yuji Hamada at Photo Gallery International (Tokyo). Hamada introduces smoke into outdoor settings, giving form and dimension to rays of sunlight that break through foliage and man-made structures.
- Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery (New York) usually has several of Jim Campbell’s LED light installations on view. Campbell’s work is one of my personal favorites, and “moving pictures” always tend to draw a crowd to the booth.
The AIPAD Photography Show is a great way to see a staggering amount of photographic work in one place (the historic Park Avenue Armory, which is a pleasure to visit in and of itself) so start making your plans for springtime in New York in 2016!