22nd edition of Paris Photo


8-11 November 2018, at the Grand Palais in Paris

thierry Ehrmann, Artprice’s founder and CEO: « Artprice is proud to have contributed to keeping Paris Photo afloat in 2000 and we are very pleased to see how the fair has established itself as the largest annual event dedicated to photography on the Art Market. It’s an event that brings together most of the pioneering galleries (Taka Ishii, Pace / MacGill) as well as the major Contemporary Art dealers (Gagosian, Carlier | Gebauer, Nathalie Obadia) and a number of key players in the world of imagery (Magnum, Aperture Foundation, Taschen Books).”

The largest international fair dedicated to photography is celebrating its 22nd edition, bringing together 167 galleries at the Grand Palais. Only a third of the exhibitors are French leaving plenty of room for a rich international scene. Some thirty countries are represented, including South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, China, Ivory Coast, the United States, Iran, Japan and Mexico. Indeed, the fair’s international reach is one of its major attractions: Paris Photo allows a comprehensive tour of the world of photographic creation.

However, its ambitions go substantially beyond its international vocation. The Grand Palais has enough space for a number of bold initiatives including no less than 29 solo shows that provide additional insight into the creative universes of artists like William WEGMAN (Gallery Huxley- Parlor, London), Guy BOURDIN (Louise Alexander gallery, Porto Cervo) and Michel JOURNIAC (Christophe Gaillard gallery, Paris). The latter’s work is particularly relevant to the theme of the fair’s new Curiosa section, this year focused on our relationship to our bodies and to eroticism. Michel Journiac, one of the main figures of Body Art in France, is known dressing up as overly stereotypical housewives. The Curiosa section will also have tributes to Daido Moriyama, Antoine d’Agata, Nobuyoshi Araki and Robert Mapplethorpe in an additional exhibition space of 210 m² under the staircase of the Salon d’Honneur.

Major trends

From the booths at Paris Photo to the auction houses, several major trends are perceptible. One is the development of a Europe-wide photographic scene inspired by the world of fashion. The German photographer, Jurgen Teller (Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève) and the Dutchman, Erwin Olaf (Magda Danysz) both like working with models and sophisticated staging, and both are prominent at Paris Photo.

However, two other trends are even more apparent: the first from Japan and the second from Africa. In fact, with its history of original photographers, Japan is clearly the world’s third major pole for the photographic medium alongside the United States and Europe. Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Masahisa Kuwase and Hiroshi Sugimoto have each developed a completely new approach to photography that has conquered the global art market. On the the opening day of Paris Photo (8 November) Christie’s Parisian sale will offer 28 works by Hiroshi SUGIMOTO at prices ranging from $5,000 to $350,000.

After many years of patience, African photographers are finally gaining the international recognition they deserve. At Paris Photo, the Magnin-A gallery – a major player in the discovery of Contemporary African art – presents some of the continent’s unavoidable photographers like Malick Sidibé, Seydou Kaïta, but also new names like Mauro Pinto and Ricardo Rangel, both from Mozambique.

In France, Bettina RHEIMS (Xippas), Valérie BELIN (Nathalie Obadia) and Sophie CALLE (Perrotin) attest to the presence of women in the photographic medium. However, according to art market stats, only seven women ranked in the Top 50 photographers in the first half of 2018: six Americans (Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, Kruger Barbara, Roni Horn, Nan Goldin, Louise Lawler) and one German woman (Candida Höfer). In an initiative designed to counter-balance this relative invisibility (and the low prices that result), the Paris Photo fair and the French Ministry of Culture have agreed to focus on women photographers via a special sequence at the fair. Entitled Elles x Paris Photo, this sequence goes back to the beginning of photography (Julia Margaret Cameron, Margaret Watkins, Lucia Moholy), explores the feminists of the 70s (Arlene Gottfried, Renate Bertlmann, Joan Lyons …) and finally opens the field to a new generation of promising artists (including Lisa Sartorio, Wiame Haddad and Hilla Kurki) whose relatively unknown works have never been appeared at auction.