Some art fairs evolve; others have growth spurts. This year the Photography Show has moved to Pier 94 on the Hudson from the Park Avenue Armory, its home for the last decade, and more than doubled in size. Steroids may have been involved.
Founded in 1980 by Aipad, or the Association of Independent Photography Art Dealers, the fair, in its latest incarnation, presents 130 participants from across the United States and around the globe, and initiates a new section for book publishers and magazines devoted to photography. Yet it has room to spare, with broad aisles and a general spaciousness enhanced by light gray carpets and walls.
There are 51 new dealers, including Tasveer Gallery from Bangalore, which is mixing hand-painted photographs from the first half of the 20th-century with more ironic, contemporary ripostes, and Ibasho from Antwerp, Belgium, which has a survey of images by Japanese photographers and by others working in Japan.
With images from the mid-19th century to now, the Photography Show sweeps through the history of the medium, culminating with contemporary photographers and artists who don’t necessarily call themselves photographers. That mind-set was initiated by Conceptual Art, solidified by the Pictures Generation and still going strong.
The displays have great contrapuntal rhythms, between past and present, between color and black-and-white, and among sensibilities guided by burning social…