E-Photo
Issue #266  5/14/2024
  • Issue #266
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New York Photography Show, Presented by AIPAD, Returned to Form at the Park Ave. Armory

By Michael Diemar

Overview of the AIPAD New York Photography Show. (Photo courtesy of AIPAD)
Overview of the AIPAD New York Photography Show. (Photo courtesy of AIPAD)

The 43rd edition of The Photography Show felt very much a homecoming for exhibitors and visitors alike. Following stints at Pier 94 and Center415, the fair returned to what many regards as its rightful home, the Park Avenue Armory. The venue itself looked better than ever and the overall quality of the works on show was excellent. But there was also something else that came into play. While most of the people I talked to described the fair as beautiful, they also pointed out that it was manageable. There were 77 exhibitors in all, plus a separate section for publishers and rare book dealers. Some art fairs have twice that number of exhibitors, if not more, and it gets exhausting, plus, quality tends to suffer.

AIPAD Talks. Lydia Melamed Johnson, Executive Director of AIPAD, introducing Jeff Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Vince Aletti, winner of the 2024 AIPAD Award.  (Photo by Michael Diemar)
AIPAD Talks. Lydia Melamed Johnson, Executive Director of AIPAD, introducing Jeff Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Vince Aletti, winner of the 2024 AIPAD Award. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Being manageable also meant that there was ample time to attend one of the seven AIPAD Talks that were held over three days. I attended the initial two. The first one was with Jeff Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in conversation with Vince Aletti, winner of the 2024 AIPAD Award. The second was a panel discussion about the MUUS Collection's exhibition at the fair, "Deborah Turbeville Polaroids: Scratching the Surface", with William Alexander Ewing, Art Curator and Writer, Nathalie Herschdorfer, Director and Curator, Photo Elysée, Joel Smith, Curator of Photography of The Morgan Library, and was moderated by Richard Grosbard, Advisor to the MUUS Collection. All the talks were filmed and will be available on AIPAD's website by the end of May.

I should declare my own small part here. I'm the editor of The Classic, a print and digital magazine dedicated to predigital photography, and our team edited and designed the fair catalogue. In addition to the fair program, it also contained several interviews, with Richard Grosbard, adviser to the MUUS Collection, collectors Dan Solomon, Joe Bose, Catherine McKinley and Vince Aletti, as well as a brief history of AIPAD, told by people who were there. If you missed it, it can be downloaded here: https://www.aipad.com/show.

And so to the fair. There were more than a few crossed fingers before it opened. The global situation and the upcoming US election have caused many buyers to exercise caution. My impression is that some exhibitors did extremely well, that many had done a little bit better than they had feared, while some had had, as they said, a slow fair. Attendance was up considerably from the years at the smaller Center415 at 12,565 by Sunday.

Johannes Faber. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Johannes Faber. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

I first talked to Johannes Faber, Vienna. Faber focuses on classic photography, mainly by the European masters but he also showed international masterworks. He told me, "It's very good to be back at the Armory and the show is much better than the previous two editions at Center415. It's also very apparent that the venue has brought back many important collectors to the fair."

Faber brought an impressive group of works, by among others, Rudolf Koppitz, Jaroslav Rössler, Heinrich Kühn, Man Ray, Edward Steichen and Otto Steinert. Faber continued, "Steinert was a key figure in the period after the WWII. He really brought back modernity to German photography which had been banned by the Nazis and he founded the group Fotoform in 1949 He also founded the photography school Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. Among his students were Hilla and Bernd Becher, and they counted Thomas Ruff among their students so his influence is immense."

Sales had been good for Faber. "We have sold a lot, including a Man Ray, an Imogen Cunningham, a Robert Mapplethorpe and an Edward Steichen, so I'm very pleased with the results this year."

Next, I spoke to Sidney S. Monroe, of Monroe Gallery, Santa Fe. The gallery showed a powerful presentation of photojournalism, including works by Mark Peterson, Ryan Vizzions and Sanjay Suchak.

Sidney S. Monroe of Monroe Gallery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Sidney S. Monroe of Monroe Gallery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Monroe explained. "Photojournalism has been our focus for over 30 years, photographers who document our history and our times. We have a wide roster of photojournalists, some go back to the mid-20th century and right up to events that are happening today. For this edition of the fair, we brought a little bit more of the contemporary work than we have in the past. It's important work and artistic work but I think with all the challenges the world faces, it's more important than ever."

I was particularly struck by Sanjay Suchak's images of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville being melted down and repurposed. Monroe told me, "The monument was a flashpoint for the protests following the death of George Floyd, as were the other Confederate monuments in the South. Sanjay photographed the protests at the statues, the removal of them, and we are including two images of the melting down of the Charlottesville statue, the end of the circle for that community, and we have had great success with them here. Our booth has been very well received. We have always had great success with museums at this fair. It's extremely satisfying to see museums taking the leap towards contemporary, more immediate work. When all is said and done, I think it will have been a very successful fair for us."

Stephan Loewentheil, 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Stephan Loewentheil, 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

I returned to the stand of 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop, New York, several times, to view the archive of Emma Frances Johnston, with 350 salt and albumen prints, made 1858-1864, accompanied by an 18-page manuscript index by her. Director Stephan Loewentheil told me, "She was one of the first women photographers in London, especially on paper, and she precedes Julia Margaret Cameron. The archive belongs in a museum and that's why we brought it here. We have had great interest from a number of institutions. We are also showing a Charles Darwin album, with photographs made by his own family, including images that haven't been published. There's some very interesting modern work, but I think we are one of the few still around who present first-rate 19th century material. It is the foundation of modern photography and showing this material gives people, especially new collectors, a chance to learn about something they might not know about."

Also included in the presentation were a large group of portraits. Loewentheil continued, "My son Jacob is very interested in modern portraiture and he wrote a book, The Psychological Portrait: Marcel Sternberger's Revelations in Photography. As Jacob gets more involved in the business, portraiture is an additional focus for us and so we decided to bring a strong group of portraits."

Loewentheil was pleased to be back at the Armory. "It just feels more professional than some of the spaces we have been relegated to in the past, plus, it's on Park Avenue. It's one of the very few venues in New York where you get local but serious people passing by and coming in. Regarding sales, we have done okay but not fabulously well, but then we are still waiting on decisions from a number of institutions--on the Johnston archive and the Darwin album."

Terry Etherton and Daphne Srinivasan of Etherton Gallery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Terry Etherton and Daphne Srinivasan of Etherton Gallery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Etherton Gallery, Tucson, were also pleased to be back at the Armory. Terry Etherton told me, "I really like the way the show looks. AIPAD did an amazing job with the layout. I do not think the show could have looked any better than it does. We are happy with our booth location and with our neighbors. It seems that the dealers were very pleased with the fair and visitors liked the way the fair looked as well."

The gallery showed mostly post-WWII American photographs. "Among those artists we have brought are Danny Lyon, Joel-Peter Witkin, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank, Kati Horna, Harry Callahan, Emmet Gowin and Frederick Sommer. We are also showing a new large piece by Tucson artist, Alanna Airitam. We have sold works by Bruce Davidson, Arnold Newman, Joel-Peter Witkin, Danny Lyon, Dan Budnik, Masao Yamamoto and W. Eugene Smith. but not enough to cover our costs. If a few sales happen in the next few weeks, we will have covered them. In this market, that's what we hoped to achieve."

Daniel Miller of Duncan Miller Gallery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Daniel Miller of Duncan Miller Gallery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Daniel Miller of Duncan Miller Gallery, Los Angeles, had two reasons for taking a booth this year, "Sure, we want to sell the works we have on the walls, but I'm also here to launch the book I have written, The Compact Guide to Collecting Fine Art Photography. It's doing really well on Amazon, and we have put it into 280 bookstores already. I decided to write the book because there's so much misinformation about photography, and as I found when I emailed museum curators, there's no fixed terminology. The word "original" is overused in the context of photography, it doesn't mean anything, and to describe something as "almost lifetime print" is simply absurd. I mean, did they kill the photographer just before printing? Clearly, a book was needed. Instead of putting photographs in it, I enlisted the services of Bob Eckstein, well-known for his illustrations for The New Yorker, and there's a lot of practical information in it, plus some funny anecdotes, like the time I stole Henri Cartier-Bresson's chair."

Miller was happy with the fair, "I am pleasantly surprised by all the foreign visitors I have met, but I'm surprised by the very few West Coast people I have come across. I get the impression that it's been a mixed bag for the exhibitors as far as sales are concerned. We have sold a lot, especially the small works by Jacqueline Woods. We showed her work at Photo London and sold all of it. She is a new artist for this audience and the works have been flying off the wall. We have also done well with the French photographer Christian Lemaire, and the unique works by Chris McCaw. All in all, I think we have broken even."

Janice Guy and Kim Bouros of Higher Pictures. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Janice Guy and Kim Bouros of Higher Pictures. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Brooklyn-based Higher Pictures, did exceptionally well, as in, sold the entire booth. It was a solo show with works of nude self-portraits by Carla Williams. It was singled out by a number of people I met, including Vince Aletti, as the best thing at the fair this year.

A few days after the fair, Janice Guy told me, "We did an exhibition with Carla Williams at the gallery in the fall. It was a restaging of her BA thesis show at Princeton in 1986. For the AIPAD fair, we decided to follow it up with her master's thesis show in 1990 and we have had great reactions to it. We are very pleased that it sold, and that it went to an institution but I can't divulge which one at this stage."

The gallery used the very large vintage prints on the wall to also sell additional current prints with a price tag of $25,000 each in an edition of 8, plus 4 APs. Plus they had a folder of smaller prints at $4,000-5,000 each.

MUUS Collection’s Deborah Turbeville exhibition. Credit and courtesy of the MUUS Collection.
MUUS Collection’s Deborah Turbeville exhibition. Credit and courtesy of the MUUS Collection.

The works in the stand of MUUS Collection, Tenafly, NJ, weren't for sale. They formed a large exhibition entitled "Deborah Turbeville Polaroids: Scratching the Surface", curated by Joel Smith, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at The Morgan Library & Museum. Originally, Turbeville used these instant photographs to set up her photoshoots. Over time, she became enamored with the materiality of these images and their transformative potential. She experimented with color and used Polaroids to explore the motif of image distressing, a theme she regularly reused throughout her photographic work. The Polaroids were wonderful and they underlined that Turbeville was one of a select group of fashion photographers, including Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, who can rightly be described as auteurs.

Keith de Lellis Gallery, New York showed an impressive range of works. De Lellis explained, "I like to bring a selection of works to the fair. I decided to do one wall of portraits, one of African American photographs, one of New York City pictures, and one of Irving Penn photographs. I thought these subjects were varied enough that I could capture some sales."

The Penn section included some wonderful vintage prints, including one of Henry Moore on a bicycle and Penn's famous 1947 group portrait of the Vogue photographers, including Cecil Beaton, George Platt Lynes, Horst and Erwin Blumenfeld. "Strangely enough, those two didn't sell. Maybe they weren't the Penn images people wanted at this time. Personally, I'm interested in vintage Penn photographs. I have no interest in his platinum prints, so vintage is what I showed, apart from two color still lifes."

Still, sales had been good for de Lellis, "It worked, it's a little challenging right now with everything that's going on, and it's an election year. There doesn't seem to be a buying mood among the public like there was in the past. Luckily, we did very well with museums and hardcore collectors who came with the intent of buying something."

Stephen Daiter. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Stephen Daiter. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, showed magnificent works, including many of the experimental kind, by, among others, Robert Heinecken, Charles Swedlund, Barbara Blondeau, Keith Smith and a very rare group of André Kertész Distortions. Daiter was impressed by this year's edition. "The space is beautiful. It's the nicest layout AIPAD has had since I've been a member and that's over 30 years. The booths look very good, the aisles are wide so there's no congestion so I have no complaints."

Daiter continued, "We always try to be somewhat thematic in what we show, that the walls have some kind of movement and continuity. Everything has to work with everything else. This time, it's all experimental work, some of it, like the André Kertész distortions, Bill Brandt and Germaine Krull, are from the 1930s and 1950s, a fair amount is from the 1960s and the 1970s, like Barbara Blondeau and Robert Heinecken, but it all works together."

I asked Daiter about sales. "It has been okay, not one of our best fairs. Given the general feel of the economy and the uncertainty about the political situation, people seem a bit more cautious about buying works that are a bit more expensive. Almost all the people we have talked to have done well enough. The thing is, the show hasn't been here at the Armory in eight years, and I think the challenge is to rebuild the connections because memory is short. My feeling is that the classic photography has been suffering a lot lately. The baby boomers, the audience for classic photography for so many years, are now well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. They're starting to think about their mortality and what they're going to do with their collections. Young people are looking for the next new thing it seems and few of them know the history of photography. It has affected museums as well. I find that the current people in charge of many departments are less knowledgeable than they used to be. Keith Davis and Ann Thomas are still working but they're no longer the heads of important departments, to guide where things are going. There are still some, like Sarah Greenough at The National Gallery, but many others are close to retirement. And those who study to become curators these days tend to have a very narrow focus on photography, whether it's conceptual or documentary, so they don't know the whole story, and it really should be the basis."

Paul M. Hertzmann. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Paul M. Hertzmann. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc. San Francisco, presented an impressive chunk of that story. Hertzmann told me, "This year we brought everything from the beginning of the history of photography, Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, through modernism and up until the 1990s with a group of very rare diptychs by Mark Ruwedel that comes from a private collection. We are yet to acquire our first 21st century but who knows, it might happen, but people come to us for classic photography."

Hertzmann had had good sales. "It has been regular and fairly normal as far as we are concerned. We were founding members of AIPAD and we have done the fair since 1983. Like everyone else, I'm pleased to be back at the Armory, and the fair looks beautiful and it puts people in a good mood. The organization has done a great job in producing the fair and it's the most efficient organization AIPAD has ever had, as far as I'm concerned. The people on the board are great people, and they represent everything from classic to contemporary photography so everyone's opinion is taken into account.

Michael Hulett of Hulett Collection. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Michael Hulett of Hulett Collection. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

There were several newcomers to the fair this year and their debuts were very impressive, including Hulett Collection, Tulsa. Michael Hulett told me, "For a young gallery exhibiting at the AIPAD fair for the first time, I don't think I could've asked for a better atmosphere. Everyone, dealers and attendees alike, seemed excited at the return to the Armory and I felt that everyone showed up to put on a great fair. I decided to show both classic and contemporary works, by Pieter Henket, Noell Oszvald, Robert Brecko Walker, Louis Stettner, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand."

Hulett had achieved decent sales. "It wasn't gangbusters as my old boss and mentor Peter Fetterman would say, but I didn't lose my shirt and I met some great new clients, which is why we do these fairs. The bulk of my sales came from an overlooked mid-century artist, Robert Brecko Walker, and the 20th-century master, Louis Stettner."

Bruno Tartarin of Photo Discovery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Bruno Tartarin of Photo Discovery. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Also new on the block was Photo Discovery, Arnaville/Paris, and Bruno Tartarin had brought some exceptional material, including Gustave Le Gray's La Grande Vague, a large group of prints by Louis Vignes, plus works by Robert Frank, Atget and many others, plus experimental works by his father, Jean Luc Tartarin. Tartarin told me, "I had visited the fair many times before, and this is where we launched the very first issue of the magazine, The Classic. I'm very pleased that the fair has returned to the Armory. The fair was really well organized and it was great to note that there was so much interest in 19th and 20th-century classic photography. We had very good sales throughout the fair, and sold important works by Olympe Aguado, Atget, Bisson, De La Blanchère, a wonderful scientific image by Jakob von Narkiewisz-Jodko, and we are waiting for a decision from a leading museum on a very important piece."

Photo Discovery is also the name of the tabletop fair that Tartarin organizes during Paris Photo. Tartarin told me, "These last few years I have held it at Pullman Tour Eiffel to be close to the temporary structure that housed Paris Photo, while the Grand Palais was undergoing renovation. As Paris Photo will be back at the Grand Palais this year, I'm going back to our fair's previous venue, Pavillon Wagram, as it was very popular with exhibitors and visitors alike."

London's HackelBury reported sales of several Sharon Walters works ranging from $5,000-$21,000, several Nadezda Nikolova works ranging from $3,000-6,000, and Bill Armstrong’s Blue Sphere for $13,000.

Alex Novak, Mary Pelletier (visiting) and Marthe Smith of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works.
Alex Novak, Mary Pelletier (visiting) and Marthe Smith of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works.

Alex Novak of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works said, "The show looked great and there was a nice balance of different photography both in the show and in our own booth, which had photographs that were taken from as early as 1843, until just a few weeks before the fair. And we sold a mix across those many years of photography.

"We decided to feature “French Calotypes from 1843 to 1860”, and actually sold three from our show email promotion prior to the fair (a published Pierre Emile Pécarrère of Cathédrale de Chartres, Statues du Portail Sud, des Confesseurs; a Charles Nègre of Moulage en Plâtre d’une Statue du Roi David, Cathédrale de Chartres; and a Julien Vallou de Villeneuve of a Light Study (Female Nude in Drapery).

"We also sold another two from the walls, one to the Chrysler Museum of Art (a great Aguado Dog) and one to fellow dealer Han P. Kraus, Jr. (another Vallou de Villeneuve, Seated Female Nude).

"These were just a few of the 19th-century photographs that we sold. A number of other reasonably priced pieces went to other collectors, including an Adrien Tournachon-Nadar of Long Horn Steers to friend and photography academic Don Camera. Fellow dealer Parker Stephenson made a purchase of a cabinet card of a "Log Jam: At Dalles of St. Croix, June 1886, estimated at One Hundred and Fifty Million Feet". Another collector bought a nice Durandelle from the photographer's 1866 New Opera series.

Newscaster Katie Couric discussing Jerry Spagnoli's "Eclipse" with Marthe Smith.
Newscaster Katie Couric discussing Jerry Spagnoli's "Eclipse" with Marthe Smith.

"Dr. Hans Rooseboom of the Rjiks Museum purchased three very nice images, including an 1870s Pierre-Louis Pierson, On the Grounds of the Estate of the Duc d'Aumale; a Blanc & Demilly; Reflection on a Peugeot 203A, Lyon; and John Thomson's Chinese Curio and Silk Shop, Guangzhou, China.

"We also sold two other rare John Thomson's to repeat client and artist, Robert Pajer: Craftsmen Engaged in Ivory Carving on Daxin Lu during the late Qing Dynasty, Guangzhou, China; and Pavilion in the Pou ting Qua's garden, Canton.

"Jerry Spagnoli's spectacular large color photograph of the recent eclipse probably got the most attention of any photograph at the fair. In fact, we sold two in the first hour to collectors and had hundreds of people taking selfies with the image. We might have sold another one to noted newscaster Katie Couric, but the AIPAD photographer's overenthusiasm trying to get her to pose chased her away unfortunately. Hopefully some of those selfie-takers might give us call to buy the real thing.

"Swiss collector and friend Tom Neidecker bought three more of Tom Shillea's platinum nudes to add to a group he bought at Paris Photo. A couple, who live near the Armory and are also old friends of Vintage Works, the Millers, came to the show and bought a nude from our artist Stanko Abadzic's latest work.

Novak noted, "We're still working on a few possible after-show sales, although some of the larger possibilities haven't materialized. It's currently a market that has few opportunities for the larger sales that are necessary to pay the high costs of doing these types of shows."

Han P. Kraus, Jr. in front of Roger Fenton study of clouds. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Han P. Kraus, Jr. in front of Roger Fenton study of clouds. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

I next stopped by the stand of Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Inc., New York. On show were some remarkable masterworks, by Fox Talbot, Anna Atkins, Henri Le Secq and there was a rare cloud study by Roger Fenton, plus contemporary works by Adam Fuss and John Dugdale. Kraus told me, "We wanted to bring some new material we haven't shown before, as well as some masterpieces we have had in our inventory for many years. Works by Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, Captain Linnaeus Tripe, Gustave Le Gray, and Nadar's images of the catacombs. I also included a Cyanotype by John Dugdale as I thought it would go well together with Fox Talbot's image of porcelain. Overall, it's wonderful to be back here at the Armory. I think it's the best place anywhere to have a fair, internationally even. It's a manageable space, a beautiful, historical building and it's in the right neighborhood, especially for us, as we are less than a mile away."

I asked Kraus about sales, "They have been pretty good for us. We had a few on the first day, and quite a few on the second day. Since then, they have dropped off a bit, but we have quite a few works on approval. That's how it is with fairs these days, it seems. At Paris Photo last November, we sold very little at the fair but during the two months that followed, we sold a significant amount of works, mostly to institutions."

Kraus later reported sales of a Hugh Owen work for $7,500, a few Anna Atkins works for $50,000 each and several Nadar works on hold for an institution.

Deborah Bell with Sabrina Slavin. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Deborah Bell with Sabrina Slavin. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, showed works by William Eggleston and Jan Staller but mainly focused on works by female artists this year. Bell told me, "The presentation includes vintage modernist prints from the late 1920s, an abstraction of mirrors and fruit by Florence Henri and a portrait of Katt Both by Lotte Beese, as well as works by Laura Gilpin, Kati Horna, Anne Brigman, four vintage prints by Deborah Turbeville and a rare portrait of Lisa Fonssagrives by her first husband, Fernand Fonssagrives."

Bell was pleased with the fair, "I think the design of the fair is excellent and it has created a very welcoming effect. As one visitor opined, it was 'classy'. Visitors and exhibitors seemed both delighted and calm in the gorgeous space and the atmosphere of the Park Avenue Armory. I'm very pleased that we sold the Florence Henri and Lotte Beese prints and one of Marcia Resnick's works from her 1978 series "Re-visions". We are also very happy to have what we think is encouraging follow-up to do with Resnick's work and the more contemporary material."

MOMENTUM reported several works by Aapo Huhta selling for $5,500 each, several works from Eiji Ohashi’s Roadside Lights series ranging from $5,000-$8,000 and an Ole Marius Joergensen work for $10,000.

Yancey Richardson Gallery reported sales of Alex Prager’s Crowd #1 for $50,000, several Jon Divola works for $11,000 each, several Zanele Muholi works for $25,000 each, several Mary Ellen Bartley works for $4,000 each and works by Mickaleane Thomas for undisclosed amounts.

Danziger Gallery reported that over a third of the booth sold with works by Hendrik Kerstens, Jim Krantz and Susan Meiselas.

Daniel / Oliver felt a general appreciation for the various types of photography represented in their presentation, noting the sale of Arthur P. Allen-Fire Proof Lumber photo album to an institution and several Joanne Mulberg works for approximately $4,000 each.

Jenkins Johnson put forth a successful presentation by Andre D. Wagner and Lola Flash, placing numerous works by Wagner (ranging from $7,000-$18,000) with a foundation and private collectors.

Martijn van Pieterson, IBASHO, and President of AIPAD. (Photo by Michael Diemar)
Martijn van Pieterson, IBASHO, and President of AIPAD. (Photo by Michael Diemar)

AIPAD's president, Martijn van Pieterson, of IBASHO, showed a selection of works by gallery artists, including Paul Cupido, Mikiko Hara, Nobuyuki Kobayashi, Issei Suda, Hiroshi Hamaya, Jeremy Stigter and Hideoki.

Van Pieterson told me, "I think we have put on a wonderful show at the Armory. It was home to the fair for many, many years and the show looks simply fantastic. The quality is very high and people seem to be enjoying themselves. The numbers are higher than we expected, late Saturday, we were up to nearly 12,000 visitors, I expect we may hit 15,000 by closing time."

As for sales, van Pieterson said, "Our results could have been better but there was a lot of interest in Paul Cupido's work, which lead to substantial sales onsite and I expect a continued dialogue after the fair so I remain optimistic."

And van Pieterson had news, "We are opening a second gallery in Antwerp. Our gallery IBASHO focuses on Japanese photography; it's wonderful, but we meet so many great artists who aren't Japanese, who have no relationship with Japan, but fit well within the aesthetic of what we do. We came across a wonderful new space in Antwerp, close to the photo museum, so we are opening a second gallery, called In-Dependance. We are presenting the first exhibition May 16-June 16, coinciding with Antwerp Art Weekend, and the proper opening is in September. The focus will be on European, even regional artists, Dutch, Belgian, French and Danish, so hopefully the gallery will have an important function."

As stated, the exhibitors were extremely pleased to be back at the Armory. I was also told that AIPAD had negotiated a three-year contract for the venue, securing it for the next two editions of the fair. Later on, I was informed by one of the exhibitors that this would be the case, if enough exhibitors signed up over the next three months.

I asked van Pieterson to clarify. "We do indeed have a three-year lease with the Armory but as a membership organization, we need continual buy-in from our members to best represent them and make sure they agree with our progress forward. The initial feedback we received at the membership meeting was very encouraging.

Michael Diemar is a London-based collector and consultant. He is also editor-in-chief of The Classic, a new free magazine about classic photography. He is a long-time writer about the photography scene, writing extensively for several Scandinavian photography publications, as well as for the E-Photo Newsletter and I Photo Central.