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.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
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).
Saturday, March 28, 2009
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
At Joel Soroka, a Mamet worthy Robert Frank from his rarely seen 1955 series on Cadillac salesmen.