Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paris Photo 2011

Back and a chance to reflect on 7 weeks of travel, looking, shooting.

Paris Photo was my main destination and this year, its 15th, had moved to the splendid glass and iron domed Grand Palais where 135 exhibitors from 23 different countries gathered to show their collections of heavy hitters and hot new stars. This giant photo market place was overwhelming and an immense success. The overall quality seemed to have moved up several notches and this year influential galleries such as Marion Goodman and Gagosian had joined the throng.
The photo-book too at last getting fair share of the action with both publishers and booksellers having space to show their wares. Highlights here was the appearance of William Eggleston for a book-signing where the entire first print run of Chromes, his three-book boxed retrospective, sold out despite its expensive price tag of £220. And great to see Harper's Books innovative offering of unique-copy books from Richard Prince, Alec Soth, John Gossage and others. Despite hefty prices Harper told me the Richard Prince editions had all sold.

For the first time this year a photobook prize was offered. Here four photobook experts, Markus Schaden among them, had each selected 15 books from the past 15 years. Pleasingly the prize was won by Paul Graham's 12 volume, A Shimmer of Possibility published by Steidl.
Markus Schaden had also created a wall installation with images and text devoted to Ed Van der Elsken's story of bohemian life, Love On the Left Bank, first published in 1954.

Not surprisingly I headed to the galleries I knew or where I knew the photographers they represented. Here are a few of my picks.

Galerie Priska Pasquer puts an emphasis on introducing the major positions of Japanese photography from the 1930s until today. Japanese artists represented are for example Shomei Tomatsu, Daido Moriyama, Yutaka Takanashi, Asako Narahashi and Rinko Kawauchi.

Nobuyoshi Araki,  Shiki-in (Color Eros), 2005. Gelatin silver print, paint - 34 x 41 cm © Nobuyoshi Araki

Yossi Milo Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting the work of international contemporary artists specializing in photography, video and works on paper. Established in 2000, the gallery is known for presenting premiere U.S. exhibitions by emerging and established artists.

Michael Stevenson is a contemporary art gallery with premises in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The gallery has hosted a series of solo and group exhibitions that engage with contemporary art practice in South Africa as well as Africa and its diaspora. In addition to giving (South) African artists access to the rest of the world.

Pieter Hugo - Yakubu Al Hasan, Agbogbloshie Market, Accra, Ghana, 2009 From the series Permanent Error,  Digital C-Print © Pieter Hugo, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York and Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town

Pace/MacGill Gallery, established in 1983,  presents itself as one of the premier places for the representation of modern and contemporary photography, placing the work of its artists in important museum and private collections around the world. Artists exposed: Chuck Close, Paul Graham, Irving Penn, Paolo Roversi, Lucas Samaras.

Paul Graham, End of an Age #30, 1997 pigment print image, 60 x 45 inches frame, 72 1/2 x 56 1/4 x 2 inches from an edition of 3, PG.058 © Paul Graham

André Magnin, is well known for his role in curating the milestone Beaubourg exhibition Magicians of the Earth and establishing the important Pigozzi Collection of contemporary African art. In 2009, he founded MAGNIN-A and today represents among others Seydou Keïta, Okhai Ojeikere, Malick Sidibé.

Ojeikere Modern Suku, 1974 21 x 28 cm Tirage argentique unique d’époque Courtesy Magnin-A © J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere

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