Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some Snaps from AIPAD

New York, NY

I spent Friday afternoon at the AIPAD photography dealers' show. There's an enormous amount of work on display, something like 77 different dealer booths with anywhere from a few to dozens of pictures in each. I'm not a reviewer but I'll make a couple of observations. As always the work on display was split between vintage and contemporary, with a smaller selection of modern printings of older work. The vintage material tended to be everybody's Greatest Hits, with prints of highly variable quality. A few gems, but others of quite poor quality. I didn't have any, "Wow, I've never seen that Koudelka before," experiences, though someone dedicated enough to spend all four days of the show digging through the bins and looking at every nook and cranny of wall space might well find a few.

Contemporary work leaned heavily to the Conceptual—pictures about the artist's ideas rather than observations of the world. This just seems to be what is "in" at the moment. Big is also in. Really, really BIG is even more IN. Digital prints appear to have nearly universal acceptance and present no impediment to high asking prices.

With notable exceptions, presentations tended toward simplicity. With contemporary prints of all sizes the dominant presentation is a self-bordered (wide or narrow) print in a floating, recessed, frame. Since I happen to like and use this type of presentation for my digital prints at least I'm in style on that, even if out of step with Conceptualist tendencies. Vintage prints are still almost universally presented in wide bevel-edge over-mats and simple frames.

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