ARMORY PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW 2002 HITS NYC WITH A SPLASH; MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW FOR MAJOR UPCOMING PHOTO SHOWS IN PARIS, LA AND NEW YORK CITY; USE OUR SERVICES FOR CONDITION REPORTS AND BIDDING ADVICE AT UPCOMING AMSTERDAM AND PARIS AUCTIONS; LAST CHANCE TO BID AT PHOTO REVIEW NOVEMBER CHARITY AUCTION; I PHOTO CENTRAL ADDS ANOTHER NEW ARTICLE TO ITS COLLECTING ISSUES AND RESOURCES SERIES AND ANOTHER SPECIAL EXHIBIT
ARMORY PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW 2002 HITS NYC WITH A SPLASH
With rather average material at most of the auctions this time around (more on that in three weeks in the next newsletter), the real action may have shifted to the Jacob Javits North Pavilion and the Armory Photography Show 2002. The new show, which garnered great buzz around New York City, drew a crowd of 7,000 in its first iteration, and that is a true gate, not the inflated ones that you see with Paris Photo and other shows. The traffic was strong and steady most of the time over the five-day schedule.
Most of the dealers I spoke to thought that the show had a very respectable draw considering its first year status and the general slowdown in the marketplace after President Bush's public threats against Iraq a little over four months ago. The show also only had a few months lead time to get up and running this time, and its management did a fine job of getting the word out in such a short time.
The mix was eclectic and visually interesting. Many of the dealers, including ourselves, utilized the larger than normal booth space to create special areas and displays, which helped add interest to the fair. There was vintage 19th, 20th and contemporary work, but it did not seem like the same-old, same-old--at least not as much as at other photography shows.
While there was an unfortunate tendency towards kiddy porn and self-indulgent sexual kink in some booths, most of the show's work--particularly its contemporary material--was frankly exciting and stimulating (and not in a prurient way). As visiting French dealer Bernard Dudoignon said, it was like the best and worst of Paris Photo's first show.
Perhaps one of the most controversial, but powerful images in the show was The Dead Taliban Soldier by Luc Delahaye, which was displayed by Ricco/Maresca Gallery of New York. The huge (43 x 93 inches) panoramic image, which was in color, was a stopper--both oddly beautiful and disturbing at the same time. This was one of the first successful blending of contemporary and photojournalist work that I have ever seen. At $15,000 in an edition of 5 (it may have already gone up by the time this newsletter goes out), it was still reasonable (comparatively) for an important large-scale piece. Several major institutions have professed interest in buying the work. My congrats to the LA County Museum for apparently being the first to recognize the power of this piece. William Hunt of R/M tells me that a book is planned for early next year. Delahaye has won the ICP Infinity Award and is a member of Magnum.
Other contemporary work of note included that of one of my favorite artists Dieter Appelt at German dealer Springer & Winckler Galerie, who had their booth opposite ours. They also had a bizarre series of images of car crashes by Arnold Odermatt, a Swiss photographer.
Also across the aisle from us was the Weinstein Gallery, which had some luscious Luis Gonzalez Palma's, especially his long series of chairs. The gallery also had some striking work from two women artists, Deborah Oropallo (large painted pigment prints of industrial gloves) and Nancy Rexroth (small vintage Diana camera photographs from the 1970s).
I liked Rose Galleries' big color images by Mitch Epstein, which included a U.S. flag in a dry cleaning bag, a brief case on an unadorned mattress, and a group of boarded-up brick tenements. These are strong pictures. They reminded me of a raw Eggleston.
Speaking of William Eggleston, Howard Greenberg Gallery sold his image "Tricycle" for a six-figure price, perhaps the highest priced single print to sell at the show. As always, the gallery also had a number of very fine vintage images.
Show organizer Matthew Marks exhibited Weegee distortions at what I felt were rather high prices (about $9,000 each) and $400 Muybridge collotypes at $1200 each. I was told that the latter sold like hot cakes to naïve contemporary buyers--the only evidence that I saw for new "cross-over" success at the fair. Most of the buyers on either side (vintage versus contemporary) were collectors that bought either or both in the past. Marks did have a wonderful Wols, " Marché aux Puces", which I felt to be quite reasonable. It was interesting to see how dealers mixed vintage and contemporary work in a free flowing style.
I admired some of Robert Mann's early images by Callahan, Siskind, Brassai and others; Bruce Silverstein's fine collection of 20th-century photographs, particularly a strong, early print by Bill Brandt and two vintage Kertesz images; Gallery 19/21's fine French images (both 19th and 20th century); Peter Fetterman's wonderful displays on "Women--A Celebration" (which will soon become a book), "Eugene Atget" and "George Tice's Urban Landscapes"; and Rose Galleries' late-printed, but interesting and unpublished images by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, who died less than two weeks ago.
Vintage Works, Ltd.'s large, open booth design allowed us to put up a special exhibition of fine Le Gray's, as well as a display of other fine 19th and 20th-century vintage master images on other walls. We also had great success with contemporary artist Robert Asman. Asman, who has taken on Philadelphia as his life work, much as Atget did with Paris, garnered lots of attention and sales at the fair from collectors, curators and dealers alike. Several observers noted that his work has much similarity to Bravo's Magic Realism School. The pieces, which are tea-toned and selenium bleached and toned, are dramatic and exquisite prints. Asman is a master printer and often prints other photographers' portfolios and editions. He imbues straight photographic images with a sense of magic and mystery. You often find yourself wondering if there is double printing, especially when he incorporates murals and graffiti into the scene so that it looks like some mystical apparition, but it is just Asman's unique urban vision. We will be posting up some of these images in a Special Exhibit next month or two.
So all in all, the Armory Photography Show was a lot of fun, even if the sales weren't quite there this first year for most of the dealers. There will indeed be a next year, according to show management. I know I plan on returning.
MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW FOR MAJOR UPCOMING
PHOTO SHOWS IN PARIS, LA AND NEW YORK CITY
With three of the biggest photography shows (plus a few smaller ones) coming up over the next four months, you need to get your planning in high gear.
First up is Paris Photo to be held November 13-17 at the Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris at the Métro stop: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre. The show, now in its sixth year, has developed into the place to be for many in the photo trade. Besides it is Paris--during Beaujolais Nouveau week yet!
The show may eventually move to the Porte de Versailles. If so, it may then be combined with FIAC, the big French contemporary art show also owned by Reed. This may be ok for the contemporary photo dealers, but might not be so great for vintage dealers and galleries, so you may want to take advantage of the show while it is still located in a convenient place with a more balanced group of dealers.
On Sunday, December 8, the American Photographic Historical Society will host its one-day photography show from 10 am-3 pm at the Holiday Inn, 32nd & Broadway, New York, NY. Besides US dealers from around the country, several European photo dealers have told me that they will be exhibiting at this tabletop show. The ticket price is normally $6, but newsletter readers will get a $1 off by showing this page at the ticket table. Vintage Works will again be exhibiting. Please let us know if you would like to see something special.
Next up is Photo LA, which will be held January 16-19, 2003 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St, Santa Monica, CA. This is the 12th anniversary of the photography exposition, which has become a world-class event. Over 70 galleries and private dealers from over 20 cities, as well as galleries from Europe, will exhibit thousands of images. Vintage Works, Ltd., our company, will be exhibiting at the show and we will be bringing numerous masterworks.
Public hours for the exposition are Thursday, January 16th, 6-9 pm (special charity reception), Friday and Saturday, January 17th and 18th, 12-7 pm, and Sunday, January 19th, 12-6 pm. Tickets for the event are $15 for one day and $25 for three days and can be purchased at the door. Readers of this newsletter can take $5 off of the one-day ticket or $8 off of the three-day ticket by showing this page at the ticket booth.
Last, but certainly not least, is the granddaddy show of them all: AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers), which will be held once again at the Hilton Hotel in New York City, but with larger booths and fewer dealers (this year a total of only 80 booths) than last year, a move to make the show more Art Fair-oriented.
This year the show opens one week earlier than in past years on Thursday, February 6th and runs through Sunday February 9th. There is a benefit preview for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Photography on Thursday night. It will cost you $150 to get in at 6 pm or $50 at 8 pm. The regular hours for the show are Friday and Saturday, 12-8 pm and Sunday, 12-6 pm. Tickets are $20 for a one-day pass and $30 for a three-day pass. Both tickets include a very fine catalogue of the show with a great cross-reference of photographers and photo dealers. This is still a MUST show, and I urge everyone to try to attend.
Vintage Works, Ltd. and Charles Schwartz, Ltd. will both once again exhibit, although due to the layout changes, we will be in different locations than last year.
USE OUR SERVICES FOR CONDITION REPORTS AND BIDDING
ADVICE AT UPCOMING AMSTERDAM AND PARIS AUCTIONS
Just a reminder, I will also be attending most of the upcoming Amsterdam and Paris auction events and would be happy to represent your interests there. We usually preview and bid for clients, who arrange their payments and shipping with the auction houses directly (although we can assist here as well if you require).
Our basic charge is 5% of the hammer price (about half the normal going rate) against a minimum charge of $250 in Europe. This minimum charge is in case you choose not to bid after our condition report and advice or are unsuccessful in your bidding. Only the 5% fee is charged if you are successful and the hammer price is over $5,000 in Europe. Believe me when I say that we have saved clients thousands of dollars in bad bids and have helped others attain top pieces at auction.
Just call Maria Connolly at Vintage Works, Ltd. at 215-822-5662 to make arrangements; or call Alex Novak direct in Europe at +33-699606505, or if in Paris 0699606505.
I would also be very happy to meet clients while in Paris at Paris Photo (we will not be exhibiting but will be attending) and at the Paris and Amsterdam auctions (November 1-19). I will return to Paris again for the holidays (December 20-January 5). Please let me know if there are any images that I can show you privately.
LAST CHANCE TO BID AT PHOTO REVIEW NOVEMBER CHARITY AUCTION
The Photo Review Benefit Auction will be held this coming Saturday, November 2 at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia beginning at 7 pm. Some of top lots include original images by Brett Weston, Eugene Atget, Maxime Du Camp, Carleton E. Watkins, Edouard-Denis Baldus, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Cheney Johnston, George Kraus, Jaroslav Rossler, James Robertson & Felice Beato, Morris Engel, Leonard Misonne, George Tice, Danny Lyon, John Sexton, Jerry Uelsmann and other fine photographers.
You can still preview this charity auction in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts on Broad St on Friday, November 1 from 11 am to 5 pm and the Saturday of the auction, November 2 from 11 am to 6 pm.
The entire auction is now posted up online at http://www.photoreview.org/auction.htm
, but you can also sign up for the printed catalogue, which is only $12 and can be bought from the Photo Review, a non-profit charity dedicated to the advancement of photography. For more information, contact the Photo Review at 140 East Richardson Ave., Suite 301, Langhorne, PA 19047, 215-891-0214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
REMEMBER: FREE SHIPPING AND DONATIONS TO
CHARITY NOW FOR I PHOTO CENTRAL CUSTOMERS
As we announced last newsletter, from now until the end of the year, Charles Schwartz, Ltd. and Vintage Works, Ltd. will donate to charity 10% of any purchases made from our websites:
Can we suggest that you, our loyal readers, also be extra giving this year? Many thanks.
And, in the spirit of the holidays, we will waive all shipping charges in the continental U.S. until the end of the year.
We have also built two special lists of my personal selections from Vintage Works. The prices start at as little as $50, so these can make great holiday gifts, but order well in advance to avoid post office delays. You need to put each list in the Key Word Search on the search images page exactly as written below without any spaces between words. Make sure there is no extra space at the end of these strings. You can also add other search criteria from the drop-down menus, but you can not put another word into the key word search for this to work. The two selections are: 19thcenturyholidaypicks and 20thcenturyholidaypicks. All the choices are under $2,500 and half are under $1000.
Private photo dealer Charles Schwartz Ltd., who has recently joined the I Photo Central website group, and Vintage Works, Ltd. continue to post up new images at http://www.iphotocentral.com/search/search.php
. Both 19th and 20th century photographs have been added over the last month.
One particular item that Charles Schwartz wanted me to mention is a wonderful and scarce Middle Eastern two-volume set of Francis Frith images. This set is bound as one album containing 76 albumen prints. Francis Frith (1822-1898) made three photographic expeditions to Egypt and Palestine during the mid to late 1850s. The book includes views of the desert landscape, monuments, the crocodile, a self portrait in Oriental costume and ruins. Images are accompanied by text written by Frith describing his travels. His comments include remarks about making photographs which indicate the difficulty of the wet collodion process. This book initiates a career in illustrating books with original photographs that placed Frith among the most dedicated and productive in this mode of illustration. The price is a very reasonable $12,000. You can contact Charles at 212-534-4496 or email@example.com
To see the listing, go to the iphotocentral search image page and put in the reference number 2259. Or just go to the iphotocentral.com home page, where it is the 19th-century Image of the Week. You can also check out our two Halloween images at the same time.
If you would like to see Schwartz's entire listings (nearly 500), go to the search page above on I Photo Central and put CharlesSchwartz in the key word search without any space between the words and with the capital letters on the C and S.
I PHOTO CENTRAL ADDS ANOTHER NEW ARTICLE
TO ITS COLLECTING ISSUES AND RESOURCES SERIES,
AND TWO NEW SPECIAL EXHIBITS
You might want to visit the I Photo Central web site's special section on Collecting Issues and Resources. We just added another new article entitled "On Connoisseurship and Print Values: A Discussion." You can find it at: http://www.iphotocentral.com/collecting/collecting.php
This article is devoted to a very important subject: connoisseurship and the print. This should be a topic of primary concern for any collector, institution or dealer. What goes into evaluating and determining the collectability of any photograph is not easy to discuss, because so much is subjective and determined by the experience of the viewer. And price--on at least rare items--can be equally subjective and determined even by environment, as much as the image itself. This article will provide a beginning education on the various factors to consider in regards to a photograph.
I should remind everyone that we are constantly updating the articles in this series. Besides this new article, topics posted on this section of the I Photo Central website include: The Insider's Guide to Buying and Selling Photographs; Risk Management And Insurance For Private Collectors, Dealers, Gallery Owners And Museums; The Ins And Outs Of Photography Appraisals; Books for a Basic Photography Collecting Library; and Determining the Vintage of a Print.
Planned articles for this section include: Tax Impacts, Conservation and Preservation of Photographs, and Framing and Matting Your Collection.
The articles are usually fairly in-depth and comprehensive, and--as I noted above--we are constantly bringing them up to date as new information becomes available. This is a good place to go for even experienced photography collectors, curators and dealers.
I Photo Central and Vintage Works have also added a new Special Exhibit called "Masterworks from the First Half of the 20th Century," which is now on display at http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase.php
This web show contains top work from such well-known photographers as Adams, Atget, Bing, Brigman, Demachy, Edgerton, Horst, Kertesz, Lartigue, Man Ray, Misonne, Steichen, Stieglitz, Tabard, Weston and White. But there are also some wonderful surprises from lesser-known photographers including Aznar, Balogh, Dreville, Kesting, Khalip, Schell, Steinert, Styrsky, Sudre, and Weiss.
Another Special Exhibit entitled "Gustave Le Gray: 19th-Century Master is also now up on both sites and can be viewed at the same URL address.
Of course, you should also visit the other six Special Exhibits currently showing on I Photo Central.