Words and pictures by Lee Sharrock
To Paris for the first post-lockdown Paris Photo. Paris Photo was the first international art fair established purely to display photography, and the 2021 edition takes place at the Grand Palais Éphémère, a temporary structure designed by the architects Wilmotte & Associés, whilst the usual venue of the Grand Palais is restored.
I visited on Vernissage night, armed with my mask and passe sanitaire, and found a wealth of photography from all corners of the globe and covering a wide range of genres and periods.
Here are some of my favourites.
Omar Victor Diop @ Magnin (B4).
Exquisite new series of photographs by Omar Victor Diop titled “Allegoria”. Through the “Allegoria” series, Diop takes up the fundamental question of the environment and its relationship to the African continent. His works represent the allegory of a humanity concerned with a nature which, if we don’t put a halt to the destruction of our planet, could be nothing more than a memory found in antique natural history books.
Almudena Romero “The Pigment Change – BMW Residency
I first came across the delicate pigment prints of Almudena Romero at Photo London earlier this year, where her photographic mementos of leaves from her late grandmother’s garden sold out. She has since been awarded the BMW residency at Paris Photo, where she expands the scale and ambition of her unique natural printing technique and the juxtaposition of nature with science and memory.
Santeri Tuori “Waterlilies” @ Persons Projects (C24)
A sublime, painterly print of Waterlilies is irresistible to the eye.
Michael Schmidt @ Galerie Nordenhake (A24)
Berlin-born Michael Schmidt’s Monochrome prints of nightlife, wintry landscapes and the nude capture fleeting moments in time. Schmidt (1945–2014) had no formal training in photography, yet he left an important legacy including the foundation in 1976 of the Werkstatt für Fotografie at VHS Berlin-Kreuzberg, which became a major forum for international discussions on photography in (West) Berlin.
Rut Blees Luxemburg is exhibiting at Paris Photo and also has a new solo exhibition at Galerie Dominique Fiat in Paris titled “The Dark Intestine of Nicolas Ledoux.” Rut Blees Luxemburg’s captivating prints transform hidden corners of cities into intriguing nocturnal images, and has achieved such acclaim for her diverse practice which also includes an opera, that she recently appeared as a judge on the Sky Arts photography programme.
FLORE’s exquisite pigment prints @ Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière are infused with a vintage Japanoise feel, yet they are very recent prints. “Nuit Bleue”, a gelatin silver print of a mystical sea-scape, hand tinted with tea and waxed, has been acquired by the Centre National des arts plastiques. (C32).
Paolo Ventura creates a portal into a bygone era with his mixture of photography, collage and painting @ Galerie XII.