There was a whole lot of looking going on at the 42nd edition of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) Photography Show at Center 415 in Midtown last week, as 44 photo galleries from around the world spent a few days displaying their collections for the benefit of collectors and enthusiasts.
With a range of images that covered the gamut from the very beginnings of the craft to the most current, the prices ranged from “Maybe I can afford that” to “Don’t even bother asking!”
The fair featured many of the photographers that we grew up idolizing, offering one the chance to immerse yourself with images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Bill Brandt, Andre Kertesz and Ray K. Metzker on the walls, and the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Paul Caponigro in the bins. It’s possible to see everything on display in one visit, but it would probably prove to be exhausting.
In addition to the exhibits, there were live discussions featuring topics that ranged from “The Joy Of Collecting” to a discussion of a survey of Hip-Hop photography at Fotografiska, featuring the downtown photographer Janette Beckman.
Before digital photography, there was this thing called film — and before that, there were processes that only historians today are familiar with that were represented in surprising abundance.
Examples of salt and albumen prints that were printed from collodion and paper negatives — produced in the 1800s ‚ were fascinating to consider, as the work that one had to put in to make a photograph was much more intensive back then.
Vintage images were everywhere and were priced to reflect their rarity and demand. A few examples: Irving Penn: $12,000, Man Ray: $23,000, Dorothea Lange: $200,000.
More than one patron noticed that more women were represented this year, and it seemed that although there were some very noteworthy color images, the show tended to skew towards classic black-and-white photography.
A special exhibit from the MUUS Collection presented groupings of work by André de Dienes, Fred W. McDarrah, Deborah Turbeville, Rosalind Fox Solomon, and Alfred Wertheimer. Aperture had a popup book store which was also selling limited edition prints.
All in all, AIPAD is place to go to soak yourself in the art of photography and maybe even take something home. Probably not that beautiful Edward Steichen print, though — it was for sale, but we didn’t ask.
For more information, visit AIPAD.com.