by Karen Rosenberg


The New York Times



Hellen van Meene’s “Untitled #331, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2008,” at the Yancey Richardson booth in the Aipad show.

Park Avenue Armory

Park Avenue at 67th Street

Through Sunday

Photography can be found at many modern and contemporary art fairs, but photo collectors and enthusiasts have a couple of weekend-long events all to themselves. The longest-running in this country is the annual fair organized by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (Aipad).

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the association, so the program includes panel discussions, a lecture and two special exhibitions folded into the fair. “Cause and Effect,” drawn from the George Eastman House collection, presents multiple prints made from negatives by Lewis Hine, Ansel Adams and others. “Innovation,” scattered throughout the fair, consists of a single work at each booth that highlights a technical development in photography.

The organizers seem to have taken pains to keep things understated (read: upscale). The d̩cor at most booths is gray on gray. Black-and-white prints of modest size outnumber large-scale color works. Classic names РArbus, Steichen, Kertesz Рappear with regularity.

Amateur historians of the medium will gravitate to the early photographs at Hans P. Kraus Jr., which include an excellent-quality William Henry Fox Talbot print, “The Ladder” (1844), and eerie photographs taken during 1880s excavations beneath the Louvre by Louis-Émile Durandelle.

At Richard Moore, Dorothea Lange’s 1937 shot of unemployed men outside a San Francisco library looks timely. So do photographs taken in a grittier 1970s New York by Jill Freedman (at Higher Pictures) and Billy Name (at Steven Kasher).

Contemporary photography can be found right up front, at Robert Mann, Edwynn Houk, Danziger Projects, HackelBury and Bruce Silverstein. Farther into the fair, keep an eye out for the booth of Yancey Richardson, which displays a striking row of small portraits of Russian and Latvian girls by Hellen van Meene, and the booth of Bonni Benrubi, where Abelardo Morell continues to hone his camera-obscura series.

Some of the most interesting works are by unidentified artists. They include the 19th-century family photographs at Keith de Lellis and the shots of Russian stage sets, from 1910 to 1930, at Gary Edwards. Charles Isaacs is showing a series of hand-colored albumen prints from 1864 cataloging the uniforms of Civil War soldiers. (The caption attributes them to “Unknown American.”)

Saturday’s discussions, with panelists including the critic and curator Vince Aletti and the photographers Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Bruce Davidson, are free with admission to the fair and highly recommended for photo lovers at all levels of expertise. KAREN ROSENBERG


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