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November 15, 2006

Paris Photo

Joel Meyerowitz

Roger Ballen

Sze Tsung Leong

Bill Henson

Arguably the best photography fair in the world, Paris Photo returns for the 10th time with 106 exhibitors from 21 countries. Stylishly situated in the Carrousel du Louvre, the fair is expected to attract 40,000 visitors viewing and collecting 19th-century, modern, and contemporary photography, as well as photographic books and editions from publishers such as Steidl, Phaidon, and Hatje Cantz.

Amsterdam's Torch Gallery features Teun Hocks' surrealistic scenes, which always star the now-aging artist. Following in Hocks' sly footsteps, Kerry Skarbakka depicts himself stumbling down stairs or falling out of buildings at Fifty One Fine Art Photography from Antwerp. London's Michael Hoppen Gallery offers bizarre domestic nudes by Jeff Bark, and Jackson Fine Art of Atlanta presents Roger Ballen's black-and-white, psychological portraits of poverty-stricken South Africans.

A number of galleries hail from New York, including Yossi Milo, which brings several stars from its stable, including the digital portraitist Loretta Lux and Chinese cityscape photographer Sze Tsung Leong. Charles Cowles displays another take on China's rapidly changing environment by Edward Burtynsky, and Edwynn Houk exhibits Robert Polidori's apocalyptic views of Chernobyl and poignant images of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Predictably, Parisian dealers are well represented. Baudoin Lebon shows Didier Massard's meticulously constructed fantasy worlds while Magnum Photos gets real with documentary photographs from Alec Soth's romantic series Niagara and Lise Sarfati's alluring portrayals of youth. Anne de Villepoix brings photos of Erwin Wurm's absurd one-minute sculptures and Martha Rosler's photomontages critiquing the Iraq War.

Nordic artists are honored this year in the Statement section with one-person shows organized by eight galleries from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Standouts include Trine Sondergaard & Nicolai Howalt's snowy hunting scenes at Copenhagen's Martin Asbæk Projects and Axel Antas' artificial clouds and washed-out landscapes at Galleria Heino from Helsinki. All three artists are short-listed for the coveted BMW-Paris Photography Prize, presented during the fair.


Paris Photo is open to the public November 16-19.

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