By: Christy Grosz
New York—To celebrate the organization’s three decades of promoting the connoisseurship and collecting of photography, the Association of International Photography Art Dealers will unveil a new program simply titled Innovation during its annual Photography Show, which takes place March 26–29 in New York at the Park Avenue Armory.
AIPAD president Stephen Bulger, whose two-year term began Jan. 1, explains that he asked dealers to submit a work that’s for sale and that demonstrates innovation in the history of photography. “It can be highlighting a technical development in the making of an image or in the printing of an image,” says Bulger. “It will really work to showcase the wide range of material that is offered by AIPAD exhibitors. It will go anywhere from daguerreotype to new media.”
In that same spirit of recognizing breakthroughs, this will be the first year that AIPAD will have new media photography on offer, which Bulger defines as work that uses computers, projection and digital delivery. “It’s a way of describing people that do film- and video-based work,” he says.
Despite the weak economy, Bulger anticipates increased attendance and strong sales, mostly because photography represents a relatively expensive way to break into collecting art. “The AIPAD show is an excellent time to look at photography,” says Bulger, who has been a member of AIPAD for 10 years and whose Toronto gallery represents a host of 19th- and 20th-century photographers, including Canadian photojournalists Doug Ball and Peter Bregg. “People find it accessible and affordable.”
While AIPAD is embracing the new, the show will also feature plenty of classic photography. Santa Monica, Calif.-based dealer Peter Fetterman—who is devoting about half his booth space to his favorite living photographer, Sebastião Salgado—is looking forward to brisk business at the New York show. “The kind of photography we deal in is blue-chip, very classic,” Fetterman explains. “I think the areas of the market that are going to be the most difficult are the cutting-edge overhyped contemporary work. You’re going to see a lot of Chelsea galleries turn into condos.”
Fetterman also plans to bring a selection of work by Lillian Bassman, whose black-and-white prints captured fashion icons of the past including Jean Shrimpton and prototypical supermodel Lisa Fonssagrives. “She’s going through a renaissance now (at) 91 years old,” Fetterman says of Bassman. “It’s nostalgia for a very elegant time; life was simpler.”