Paris Photo 2013: A Review

Ina Jang, This Comment has been Deleted, 2013. Digital c-print. Courtesy Christophe Guye Galerie. Exhibitor Christopher Guye

After the success of Paris Photo Los Angeles earlier this year, Paris Photo might of been under pressure to impress as much as its sister fair on the other side of the pond. But disappoint it did not. With both contemporary and historic photography displayed by 136 galleries from around the world and 28 editors, presented over four days underneath the impressive iron and glass structure that is the Grand Palais, Paris Photo 2013 had officially landed.

As with previous years, all galleries presented their own exhibitions with their chosen photographers, showcasing the standout works. In addition to these solo exhibitions there was also the “Recent Acquisitions” exhibition which presented new collections from three international institutions, the “Private Collection” which displayed a selection of works from renown collector Harald Falckenberg / Deichtorhallen Hamburg, and finally, “Open Book”, where British photographer Martin Parr presented a sample of “protest” photo books.

Amongst the sprawling ups and downs, left and rights, this ways and that ways of the fair, there were some evident themes running throughout. Architecture and an admiration of buildings big and small ran throughout, with Jeff Brouws “Coaling Towers” series hanging proud in both the Robert Koch and Robert Mann Galleries and the beauty of building through repetition was also mirrored with a classic, and a personal favourite, Bernd & Hilla Becher photo grid, displaying the brutal realness of industrial architecture. The gallery Epic Dupont also presented a group show surrounding the theme of a cityscape, with works by Nicholas Nixon, Mathieu Pernot, and Lee Friedlander.

Weaving your way around the rest of the colossal fair, notable works included that of Ina Jang at the Cristophe Guye Galerie and her beautiful images that express playfulness and peacefulness in youth, Dutch fashion photographer Viviane Sassen and her striking portrait of “Etan”, and one would be hard pushed to not notice the, particularly in-your-face portraits of Vivienne Westwood shot by Juergen Teller. Berlin was also placed firmly on the photo-map at Klemm’s, with Viktoria Binschtok’s series “World of Details”, where Binschtok combined Google Street View imagery with real-life, large format stills that Binschtok took at that exact spot seen on the Street View. 

With Paris Photo over for this year, we look forward to the next iteration of Paris Photo Los Angeles 2014.

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