Seeking Contemporary Photography at AIPAD 2015

In its 35th year, The AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) Show in New York continues to be one of the world’s most anticipated photography events. Running from Wednesday to Sunday last week, this year’s show featured over 90 galleries and dealers displaying work ranging from early daguerreotypes to contemporary digital prints and new media. While New York galleries occupied the majority of the booths, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and other parts of the United States were also well represented.

The majority of booths exhibited vintage works, spanning the iconic to the vernacular. While it is both thrilling and humbling to see the prints of master photographers such as Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, André Kertész in person, I was most inspired by new names and images. Presenting all of the fantastic work on view would be a herculean task, so here are five contemporary photographers whose work has been swirling around in my mind since the fair.

  Reenie Barrow at Robert Burge

Reenie Barrow at Robert Burge

Reenie Barrow

Robert Burge introduced me to Rhode Island-based photographer Reenie Barrow, whose 2015 series of Easter Island stopped me in my tracks. Imposing in their stature and in their simplicity, the photographs exist somewhere between traditional landscape, portraiture, and National Geographic travelogue. Printed on off-white Japanese rice paper, these prints look at once contemporary and timeless. The gallery also exhibited her earlier series of flower still lifes, which nicely complimented the Easter Island images.

  Brian Buckley at ClampArt

Brian Buckley at ClampArt

Brian Buckley

Displayed on the outer walls of ClampArt’s booth, Brian Buckley’s nautical-inspired unique cyanotypes instantly captured my imagination. The heavy brushwork in the emulsion gives the impression of a highly stylized and ethereal rendering of a ship’s design blueprint. Both pieces on view were an excellent marriage of process and content. I revisited Brian Buckley’s cyanotypes multiple times throughout the fair each time hoping that the red dot marking the ship piece as “sold” would disappear so that I might take it home. 

  Izima Kaoru at Von Lintel Gallery

Izima Kaoru at Von Lintel Gallery

Izima Kaoru

Izima Kaoru’s circular photographs stood out amidst rows of rectangular booths exhibiting rectangular images. From the series One Sun, each photograph is a single exposure of the sun’s movement across the sky. The representatives from Von Lintel Gallery explained that the photographs were made with a specialized camera that tracks the sun and produces a round image. They are not cropped nor are they distorted in Photoshop. Needless to say, these prints were mostly sold in their frames, as finding a framer could be a challenge.

  Jefferson Hayman at Michael Shapiro Photographs

Jefferson Hayman at Michael Shapiro Photographs

Jefferson Hayman

I have admired Jefferson Hayman’s work for years and was thrilled to see him at Michael Shapiro Photographs’ booth. A collection of still lifes, seascapes, and portraits graced the wall in platinum, cyanotype, and other alternative processes. Bucking the tradition of uniform sizes, some photographs were printed at 8x10 while others were smaller than a business card. Embracing framing as an integral part of the work, the prints are displayed in unique vintage frames or in some of Hayman’s own designs.

  Chris Killip at Erick Franck Fine Art

Chris Killip at Erick Franck Fine Art

Chris Killip

Chirs Killip is decidedly not a new discovery, however, I think his work is underrepresented in the United States and find it incredibly powerful. Two images from his series In Flagrante were on display at Eric Franck Fine Art’s booth as well as the book, which is now out of print. While it was the gritty silver gelatin photograph that drew me in, it was the title that made me catch my breath, “Simon being taken to sea for the first time since his father drowned, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire, 1983.” 

Kat Kiernan is the Editor-in-Chief of Don’t Take Pictures.