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Art & Culture

The Photography Show 2023: A Showcase of Contemporary and Historical Photography

  • Craig Miller
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  • April 4, 2023
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  • 5 minute read
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The Photography Show 2023: A Showcase of Contemporary and Historical Photography

Key Takeaways
  • The AIPAD Photography Show is the longest-running exhibition devoted specifically to photography, showcasing 44 international photography galleries with a diverse range of photography styles, techniques, and subject matters.
  • The fair features both historical and genre-defining contemporary photography, with several galleries focusing on contemporary works.
  • Standouts from the presentations include Rodrigo Valenzuela's found-object sculptures at Assembly Gallery, Paci Contemporary's display of works from Brazilian and Czech Republic photographers, The Ravestijn Gallery's contemporary photography featuring human figures, Robert Mann Gallery's colourful images by Cig Harvey, and Augusta Edwards Fine Art's feminist series by Karen Knorr.
  • The fair also includes Benjamin Ogilvy Projects' showcase of Hal Fischer's Gay Semiotics series and Michael Hoppen Gallery's rare 1954 capture of Henri Cartier-Bresson's Boy Carrying a Wine Bottle.
  • VIPs who attended the preview day saw Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom presented with the 2023 AIPAD Award from the Rijksmuseum and were the first to see the new site-specific exhibition "Monumental Moments" curated by AIPAD.

The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) opened its 42nd edition of The Photography Show in New York City on March 30.

The fair, which is the longest-running exhibition devoted specifically to photography, features 44 international photography galleries, including nine first-time participants.

While many of the stands at the fair feature historical photography, several galleries focus on contemporary photography.

Assembly Gallery: Found-Object Sculptures by Rodrigo Valenzuela

Assembly Gallery, based in Houston, is one of the first-time participants at The Photography Show.

The gallery’s stand showcases the work of Los Angeles-based artist Rodrigo Valenzuela, who was born in Chile.

Valenzuela draws on his experience in construction to build found-object sculptures, which he photographs and screen prints onto canvas collaged with repurposed time cards.

The resulting works explore the relationships between labour, unionisation, and the consequences of automation.

The prices for Valenzuela’s work at the Assembly stand range from around $5,000 to $25,000.

Paci Contemporary: Works by Brazilian and Czech Republic Photographers

Italian gallery Paci Contemporary is displaying work from three international artists: Brazilian photographers Miguel Rio Branco and Mario Vravo Neto, and Michal Macku from the Czech Republic, who uses a unique photography technique he calls “gellage.”

Macku transfers gelatin emulsion from photographs onto paper arranged in glass to create almost three-dimensional works.

Rio Branco worked on movie sets before taking on documentary photography that leans into dramatic colours and shows the contrasts of life in Brazil, while Neto is known for producing black-and-white portraits of Black Brazilians using props and poses reminiscent of religious iconography.

Prices at the Paci stand range primarily from $4,000 to $15,000, with one large print of Rio Branco’s most famous photograph, Maria Leoncia (1991), priced at $35,000.

The image, which the late photographer gifted to Slim Aarons, is a foundational piece of contemporary photography and one of the world’s most recognizable prints.

The Ravestijn Gallery: Contemporary Photography with Human Figures

The Ravestijn Gallery, based in Amsterdam, focuses on contemporary photography, with many of the works on its stand featuring human figures in strange contexts and posed with props.

The stand features prints by Dutch fashion photographers Inez & Vinoodh, Swedish photographer Eva Strenram and American photographer Michael Bailey-Gates, with prices starting at $5,000.

The stand also features a triptych by Danish photographer Theis Wendt that creates the optical illusion of a dark void.

Robert Mann Gallery: Colourful Images by Cig Harvey

Robert Mann Gallery, based in New York, has mounted a solo stand with prints from Cig Harvey, a British photographer now living in Maine.

Harvey’s colourful images often incorporate flowers and show humans interacting with the natural world. The prints are priced between $3,000 and $7,000.

Augusta Edwards Fine Art: Feminist Series by Karen Knorr

London-based Augusta Edwards Fine Art is showcasing the 2011 series Ladies by German-born American photographer Karen Knorr.

The series features well-dressed models and actresses in sprawling spaces paired with tongue-in-cheek text about feminism, capitalism, and globalism drawn from the subjects’ own answers to a questionnaire.

Knorr was commissioned to create the series by British fashion magazine Pop.

The series draws inspiration from an earlier project of Knorr’s that incorporated text with portraits of members of London’s elite gentlemen’s clubs.

There are 22 images in the Ladies series, each priced at $6,600.

The AIPAD Photography Show: Historical and Contemporary Works

The AIPAD Photography Show also features several galleries showcasing historical and genre-defining contemporary photography.

Benjamin Ogilvy Projects’ showcase of Hal Fischer’s Gay Semiotics series from 1977 is a major highlight of this year’s edition.

The collection, described by Fischer as a “lexicon of attraction,” is among the first to combine linguistics and photography.

Fischer revisited the series recently for a photo essay on celebrity queer-baiting. Michael Hoppen Gallery is showcasing a rare 1954 capture of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Boy Carrying a Wine Bottle, shot in Paris.

The image, which the late photographer gifted to Slim Aarons, is a foundational piece of contemporary photography and one of the world’s most recognizable prints.

The Ravestijn Gallery is also showcasing contemporary works, including Eva Stenram’s surrealist Drape series.

In the series, Stenram superimposes drapery and other textiles over midcentury pinup photos, creating isolated glimpses of legs, retro high-heels, and hands that pique the viewer’s curiosity.

VIPs who attended the preview day saw Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom presented with the 2023 AIPAD Award from the Rijksmuseum.

Preview attendees were also the first to see “Monumental Moments,” a new site-specific exhibition of large-scale fine art photography curated by AIPAD.

Final Thoughts

The AIPAD Photography Show 2023 showcases a diverse range of photography, from contemporary works to historical pieces.

The fair brings together international galleries and collectors, providing a platform for photographers to showcase their work to a wider audience.

The standouts from the presentations at Midtown Manhattan’s Center415 showcase the wide range of photographic styles, techniques, and subject matters on display at the fair.

The Photography Show is an excellent opportunity for collectors and photography enthusiasts to view and purchase unique and rare works of art from some of the most talented photographers in the world.

Craig Miller

Craig Miller

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