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Paris Photo: Individual Highs Punctuate ‘Uneven’ Sales

The 11th edition of the Paris Photo fair, held from Nov. 15-18 at the Carrousel du Louvre, met with mixed demand, largely owing to a French transportation strike that began on the fair’s opening day and persisted during its run.

PARIS—The 11th edition of the Paris Photo fair, held from Nov. 15-18 at the Carrousel du Louvre, met with mixed demand, largely owing to a French transportation strike that began on the fair’s opening day and persisted during its run.

Fair attendance was reported at 32,100 visitors (some 40,000 had been expected)—about 20 percent fewer than the 40,200 who reportedly were there last year (ANL, 12/12/06, p. 5). But though fair organizers characterized overall sales as “uneven,” a number of individual dealers reported solid results.

On display at the booths of the 104 exhibitors (83 galleries and 21 publishers) from 17 different countries, the works, ranging from classic to contemporary, were diverse. Outstanding historic photos on view included rare autochromes by the Lumière brothers (Louis and Auguste) at Munich’s Galerie Daniel Blau.

Kicken Berlin displayed Otto Steinert’s 1949 sequence on Paris, along with Czech photography from the 1920s and ’30s. André Kértész’s photos of Paris were offered by Silverstein Photography, New York.

Impressive sales of historical photos included Dunes, a 1936 photograph by Edward Weston, which fetched $272,000 at Silverstein. Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc., also in New York, sold ten prints by Joseph Vicomte Vigier at prices ranging from $10,000/180,000.

Cologne’s Priska Pasquer sold two works by August Sanders for €67,000 ($97,800) each, while the British gallery Robert Hershkowitz sold a rare, 1843 photo by William Henry Fox Talbot, A View of York Minster Cathedral, for €75,000 ($109,500). A booth filled with small, anonymous works by amateur photographers at Lumière des Roses, located in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, reported total sales of €45,000 ($65,700), 30 percent more than last year.

A Man Ray collage shown by New York dealer Edwynn Houk sold for €28,650 ($41,800). Robert Miller Gallery reported selling 20 works, including one by Bill Henson, for $35,000. Paris gallery Les Filles du Calvaire sold a total of 60 pieces, among them a photograph by Paul Graham, for €40,000 ($58,400).

Copenhagen gallery Martin Asbæk reported an excellent fair, selling 40 photos by Trine Søndergaard, Nicolai Howalt and Ebbe Stup Wittrup, each costing an average of €4,000 ($5,840). Photography books also fared well, with Paris’ Denis Ozanne selling a rare copy of Ed Ruscha’s 1960 Dutch Details for €25,000 ($36,500).

This year’s Paris Photo featured Italy as its country of honor. An exhibition within the fair from the UniCredit Bank’s collection featured classic Italian photographs by such artists as Piergiorgio Branzi, Vincenzo Castella, Mario Cresci, Luigi Ghirri and Mario Giacomelli.

Images by some of these artists were also on sale inside the fair. Paris’ Anne de Villepoix Gallery, sold eight Ghirri photos for prices ranging from €7,000/15,000 ($10,200/22,000). Fotografia Italiana Arte Contemporanea sold out its 1960s Giacomelli landscapes for €5,000/10,000 ($7,300/14,600); and a selection of Italian neorealist photography from the 1950s by Alfredo Camisa, Mario de Biasi and Fulvio Roiter at Milan’s Admira gallery fared extremely well

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