Paris Photo: a decided success

On 15 November 2017, by Sophie Bernard
Stand Howard Greenberg, Paris Photo 2017.
© Florent Drillon

A few hours before the end of this 21st edition, a distinct feeling of satisfaction reigned over the fair at the Grand-Palais (8-11 November 2017). Even in the worst cases, various galleries considered their results "decent". Thomas Zander (Cologne) sold a Candida Höfer for €69,000, while Hank O’Neal's "Archives of the FSA" fetched over €200,000 with Howard Greenberg (New York); Lumière des Roses (Montreuil) reported selling 70% of its stand, and Gregory Leroy & Charles Isaacs 80%. The fair's director, Florence Bourgeois, whom we met in the aisles, emphasised "the presence of around a hundred French and foreign museums." These institutions, on the look-out for acquisitions, visited numerous gallery owners, like Robert Hershkowitz (London), a regular for twelve years specialising in 19th century photography: "We sold several pieces on the very first day, including ones by Duchenne de Boulogne, Adrien Tournachon and Robert MacPherson, for prices going up to €50,000," says its director. Edwynn Houk (New York) experienced the same thing with contemporary work, particularly Valérie Belin's new black and white series: "Success is rarely concentrated on one artist, as it was this year." Françoise Paviot, too, had a highly positive impression: "There were a lot of foreign visitors, particularly Americans," she says.

Some played a good hand by banking on solo or duo shows, like the Particulière gallery (Paris and Brussels), whose director Audrey Bazin says: "We took a risk, and it paid off. We sold a lot of Lise Sarfati's prints for between €8,500 and €25,000." A few stands stood out with particularly striking presentations, like the one dedicated to Yamamoto Masao at Etherton (Tucson), where a highly original approach lined up his small formats on shelves. More spectacularly, the "School" (Paris) exhibited Gilles Caron's images as a mosaic printed on wallpaper, on which were hung modern silver halide prints: a bold move that reaped commercial rewards. It was the same story with Esther Woerdehoff, present in the general sector and at "Prismes", where she was exhibiting Karlheinz Weinberger: "Two stands meant a big investment, but I don't regret it: plenty of collectors showed up."  

Paris Photo
five key figures

artists on show
autograph sessions staged by publishers  
solo shows
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