One year after the terroristic attacks Paris Photo 2016 is another jewel in the crown of Paris’s creative rebirth.
The photographic fair comes back to the Grand Palais for its 20th edition, which features one of the most fine selection of works to date. This year event includes 180 galleries and publishers (of which 42 are new this year) showcasing an eclectic range of collections from 19th century onward. “The goal is to show the largest panorama, from the mid 19th century to today,” says Florence Bourgeois, director of the fair since February 2015. Traditionally, the fair pays homage to photography scenes in different parts of the world by highlighting emerging artists and work from their respective regions, this time without an overarching theme as Bourgeois and the newly appointed artistic director Christoph Wiesner aimed to shift the focus from curated single exhibitions to a wider and variegated showcase. The outcome it’s a wonderful jolt of visual input, in which iconic photographers seamlessy sit next to newcomers. This sort of juxtaposition between traditional and new and, by extension, old school and contemporary views of different cultural identity makes Paris Photo extremely intriguing. Furthermore the high quality standards of this year’s edition make the massive fair surprisingly easy to navigate. Must see booths are Budapest-based Vintage presenting the works of Geza Perneczky and a series of “found” images reworked and recontextualized by Gyorgy Lorinczy, the Japanese Taka Ishii that focused on architecture photography featuirng Armando Salas Portugal‘s Casa de Luis Barragán among others. Outstanding as always, Galerie 1900 – 2000 showcases a series of rare Man Ray photographs and a wall of images took by David Hockney in Los Angeles with the special inscription “For Lucien”, referred to his friend Lucien Treillard. Another highlight is the iconic Fraenkel gallery from San Francisco, featuring the work of David Benjamin Sherry among others. Remarkable Gina Pane‘s pictures are exhibited at Richard Saulton, and some of the strongest Ana Mendieta‘s works are on view at Lelong gallery. We found the most interesting experimentation with photography at Kalfayan gallery, which offers a great selection into Greek contemporary photographers experimenting with collage techniques such as Panos Tsagaris and Aikaterini Gegisian, and at Anne de Villepoix, featuring a solo-show of photography pioneer Thomas Barrow.