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Paris Photo at Ten: Sales and Attendance Are Up

The tenth edition of Paris Photo, held from Nov.15-19 in the Carrousel du Louvre, posted total attendance of 40,800 visitors, up from 40,000 last year (ANL, 12/6/05, p. 5). Nearly half of the visitors were international, including many people from the United States, fair organizers report.

PARIS—The tenth edition of Paris Photo, held from Nov.15-19 in the Carrousel du Louvre, posted total attendance of 40,800 visitors, up from 40,000 last year (ANL, 12/6/05, p. 5). Nearly half of the visitors were international, including many people from the United States, fair organizers report.

The average sale total at the 88 participating galleries—chosen from more than 300 entries—was about €105,000 ($134,000), up from last year’s figure of €75,000.

This year the list of exhibitors featured 27 new galleries, including Charles Isaacs, New York, and Robert Hershkowitz, Sussex, U.K., both specialists in 19th-century photography. Hershkowitz sold 30 works for prices ranging from €1,000/40,000 ($1,300/51,000).

Other historic material on display included a wall of Brassaï works by New York’s Edwynn Houk Gallery, which sold the still life Opium Den, 1931, for an undisclosed sum.

New York dealer Hans P. Kraus Jr. told ARTnewsletter he had sold a circa 1852 photographic engraving by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-77), titled Three Stems, for $25,000. Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, sold a 1925 Edward Steichen photo, Charlie Chaplin, for €68,000 ($87,000). Among more modern works were two Man Ray photos, sold by Paris dealer Serge Plantureux for €20,000 ($25,600) each.

Among galleries offering contemporary works were New York dealers Laurence Miller and Robert Miller, who both showed works by Diane Arbus; and Portugal’s Galeria Filomena Soares, highlighting two major figures from contemporary Portuguese art—body artist Helena Almeida and video and installation artist Vasco Araújo. The gallery reports the sale of a work by Almeida at €30,000 ($38,000), as well as several works by Araújo at prices ranging from €5,000/6,000 ($6,400/7,700) apiece.

First-time exhibitors among Paris galleries included Anne de Villepoix, the gb agency and Alain Le Gaillard. Contemporary photographers whose works were present included Lee Friedlander, at New York’s Janet Borden; and Joel Meyerowitz, at Edwynn Houk Gallery, which sold 27 of his images for prices from €4,500/8,500 ($5,800/10,900) each.

Other highlights included early works by Joel Peter Witkin. Paris gallery Baudoin Lebon, which had reconstituted Witkin’s first shows in 1974 at the Cooper Union School, New York, sold 56 photos by Witkin at the fair for prices ranging from €4,000/6,000 ($5,100/7,700). The Daniel Blau gallery, Munich, offered a rare series of 1976 photos taken by Anselm Kiefer. Two were sold for €30,000 ($38,400) each.

Examples abounded of colorful pictures by young contemporary artists, such as Spanish photographer Dionisio González, whose works met with great success this year as they did at last year’s fair.

This time his images of manipulated urban scenes, based on favelas, sold extremely well at Madrid gallery Max Estrella, fetching €4,000/6,000 ($5,100/7,680) for the smallest-format works and upward of €10,000 for two larger formats.

French photographer Stéphane Couturier also found success with colorful urban images. Three galleries—Polaris, Paris; New York’s Laurence Miller; and Dutch gallery Van Kranendonk—sold many of his images of work sites, including large-format pictures, priced at €14,000 ($18,000), such as those from his recent series “Melting Point,” of a car factory. Laurence Miller also sold works by Fan Ho, including Hong Kong Slum, a vintage print from 1962, for €2,400 ($3,100).

More precise and subtle black-and-white works for under €1,000 ($1,280)—such as images of farms by Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti at Paris’ Camera Obscura gallery—were extremely popular. Sales at Camera Obscura included images of intimate family scenes and landscapes by Japanese photographer Masao Yamamoto, whose works at Atlanta’s Jackson Fine Art also fared well.

Bonni Benrubi, New York, sold 50 works in all, including a large Massimo Vitali beach scene for $24,000. Madrid gallery Fucares sold a large Candida Höfer photo for €40,000 ($51,200).

With the fair’s success came an announcement that its organizer, Reed Expositions France, had just purchased another photo fair, Photo-London, founded in 2004. The 2007 edition of Photo-London will be held from May 31-June 3.

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