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New Exhibitors, New Energy Bolster Paris Photo Fair

For the 15th edition of the Paris Photo fair (Nov. 10–13), the event moved from its former location, in the mall underneath the Louvre museum, to the Grand Palais.

PARIS—For the 15th edition of the Paris Photo fair (Nov. 10–13), the event moved from its former location, in the mall underneath the Louvre museum, to the Grand Palais. In this spacious and prestigious setting, and under the fair’s new director, Julien Frydman, former director of Magnum Photos in Paris, fair attendance rose nearly 35 percent since last year—recording 51,144 visitors, up from 38,000 in 2010. This year’s fair included 117 galleries, along with 18 publishers and editors, representing a total of 23 countries.

Among the 55 first-timers were such heavy-hitters as Gagosian Gallery, featuring works by William Eggleston (which sold well), Richard Prince and Richard Avedon (whose photograph, Blue Cloud Wright, sold for around $200,000). Peter MacGill, director of Pace/MacGill Gallery, said he was ”very pleased” with his first experience of the fair and said the gallery’s sales included a triptych by Irving Penn for $180,000, as well as several photographs by Paul Graham, priced at $30,000 each.

Other important newcomers included Marian Goodman and San Francisco’s Jeffrey Fraenkel, who showed, among other artists, works by Diane Arbus, whose work is the subject of a major exhibition at the Jeu de Paume museum through Feb. 12, 2012. Fraenkel noted the improved quality of the works on offer and said he found the gallery selection more “ambitious” than in previous years.

Other sales included those from an unusual display at the Springer & Winckler Kunsthandel – Leo Koenig gallery from Berlin, which devoted their stand to Sigmar Polke; they sold works ranging in price from €7,000/850,000 ($9,600/1.2 million), including somewhat morbid images of skeletons from the catacombs in Palermo.

Natalie Gaida, director of the Cologne gallery Thomas Zander, also reported excellent results at the fair. Zander gallery sales included: a group of photographs by Mitch Epstein from his new series, “Trees,” 2011, and from his older series, “American Power,” 2003–2009, in prices ranging from €28,000/35,000 ($38,500/41,200) each; early “Prototype” works, 1972, by Lewis Baltz, for prices ranging from €28,000/30,000 ($38,500/48,100); vintage photographs by Walker Evans and Robert Adams; as well as a 2011 print by Trevor Paglen, Dead Satellite with Nuclear Reactor, Eastern Arizona (Cosmos 469), for €14,500 ($20,000).

Berlin gallery Camera Work sold a portrait of Vladimir Maïakovski by Alexander Rodchenko for €450,000 ($618,570). Other sales reported by Howard Greenberg, New York, included works from a contact print by William Klein for around €16,000 ($22,000), to a work by Saul Leiter for around €11,000 ($15,100).

New York’s Danziger Gallery sold Andy Warhol Polaroids—an image of the late actor Dennis Hopper for $15,000 and a bewigged Self-Portrait for $20,000.

Specially organized exhibitions, for display only, highlighted outstanding collections including: a series of works by Daido Moriyama, recently acquired by the Tate Modern in London; works from the Charlie Chaplin archives, which recently became part of the collection of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland; and, in keeping with a special focus on African photographs, works in the German collection of Artur Walther.

Christine Ollier, director of 0,selling, Paris, told ARTnewsletter the gallery sold numerous works in varied formats, including several photos by German-born photographer Karen Knorr—ten small-format photos from her series “India Song,” 2008–2010, mostly of animals in sanctuaries, for €5,700 ($7,800) each, and several works at €15,400 ($21,170) each; five photos by Antoine d’Agata, including three self-portraits at prices ranging from €4,800/12,500 ($6,600/17,200), depending on the edition size; and several works by Gilbert Garcin, who retired from making lamps and took up photography at the age of 65. Prices for his playful works—self-portraits of an “Everyman” in an absurd miniature world—start at around €1,200 ($1,650) for very large editions and range upwards of €3,000 ($4,100).

Paris dealer Andre Magnin sold a vintage photograph by Seydou Keïta to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for €12,000 ($16,500).