Barbara Pollack previews AIPAD in Gotham Magazine making the point that the gap between Photography and Fine Art is narrowing as more dealers show the work of artists who use Photographs as their medium. This leaves, Pollack says, a gap between the current values of master photographers and the fine artists who use photography. That’s a point just underscored by Christie’s Eggleston sale.
Though photographers may be breaking into the fine art market, Pollack also points to fine art dealers seeking sales at photography fairs like AIPAD:
This year, for the first time, renowned contemporary art dealer David Zwirner will participate in the fair, with a booth devoted to the work of Philip-Lorca diCorcia, whose prints are priced at up to $45,000. “Photography can be a gateway to collecting on a larger scale,” says Zwirner’s director of sales, Justine Durrett, who underscores that the gallery represents many artists working in photo-based media including Gordon Matta-Clark, Stan Douglas, Thomas Ruff, and Christopher Williams.
That gallerists like Zwirner are coming to AIPAD shows the genre’s dynamism as well as its inconsistencies. For most of the 20th century, photography was considered the stepchild of fine art, largely because multiples were regarded as less significant than unique paintings and sculptures. […] With almost every contemporary art gallery now representing one or more photo-based artists—Jeff Wall at Marian Goodman, Nan Goldin at Matthew Marks—art photography has seen a great uptick in prices in recent years. But some of the strongest images of the 20th century, by such photographers as Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, or Arbus, frequently sell for a quarter of the price of a Prince or Sherman. Many other well-known photographers— Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Helen Levitt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Margaret Bourke-White—are considered masters of the medium, but since they’re not shown at art galleries, their works can be had for well under $100,000. A lot of this makes no sense, but for the collector it provides pockets of opportunity for acquiring underpriced works presented by the traditional photo galleries and dealers you’ll find at AIPAD.
First Look: The AIPAD Photography Show (Gotham Magazine)