Paris Photo returns to the Grand Palais Éphémère for the 25th edition

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The Kitchen VIII, 2009 © Marina Abramović. Courtesy of the artist and Wilde Gallery.

The burgeoning photofair continues its mission to uplift female talent and emerging photographers

When Paris Photo began in 1997, it was billed as the first international fair of its kind. Devoted to art photography, it presented 60 galleries from 12 countries. Organisers hoped the event would attract global artists, collectors and dealers, and promote what was a relatively new medium in the art market. Now, 25 years since its first edition, its success is evident. Next month, 181 exhibitors from 31 countries will gather in the city.

Untitled (opium flower with pink fabric), 2019 © Pao Houa Her. Courtesy of Bockley Gallery.

The main fair will take place for the second year at its temporary location, Grand Palais Éphémère. The regular venue, Grand Palais, is undergoing renovations in preparation for the Paris Olympics in 2024. Situated on the Champsde- Mars, the new site was widely praised after last year’s edition – not least for its impressive view of the Eiffel Tower.

The main section presents 134 galleries, including 18 new exhibitors. Works span the history of the medium – from the masters of photography to contemporary practitioners. Parisian gallery Karsten Greve presents Eugène Atget, Brassaï and Edward Steichen, for example, while Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery shows the politically charged images of David Goldblatt and Alfredo Jaar. Moving beyond photography, among this year’s new exhibitors is Geneva’s Wilde Gallery, which will show stills from Marina Abramović’s performance work. Elsewhere, Bharat Sikka will exhibit with New Delhi-based gallery Nature Morte, exploring questions of gender, sexuality and psychology.

Saint-Cloud, 1906 © Eugène Atget. Courtesy of Galerie Karsten Greve.

Paris Photo’s more recent additions have become some of its most anticipated events. Initiated in 2012, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards celebrates its 10th edition this year. And the bustling book fair returns with 32 publishers from nine countries, presenting new releases plus unique and rare editions. Across four days, publishers will also offer a programme of signing events.

Inaugurated in 2015, this year’s dedicated section for emerging galleries, Curiosa, is curated by Holly Roussell, art historian and curator at the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art, China. Roussell has invited 16 galleries, nine of which – including two from China – are new to Paris Photo. “We are living in a world of image and information excess. As a curator I see it as my role to edit that information, to filter it, but to be inclusive,” says Roussell. “I see the mission of Curiosa as providing a platform for artists emerging into the global market. This resonates deeply with my own long-standing curatorial motivation: to mainstream the work of artists with enduring, serious practices who may not yet have the visibility they merit.”

incretismo © Elliot & Erick Jiménez Courtesy of Spinello.

The fair continues to support female talent, in what Paris Photo director Florence Bourgeois described last year as a “balancing” act. Started in 2018 in partnership with the French Ministry of Culture, Elles × Paris Photo is a collaborative event curated by Federica Chiocchetti – the newly appointed director of Switzerland’s Musée des Beaux-Arts du Locle – that aims to promote the visibility of women artists and their contribution to the history of photography. “We are excited to see the fresh look that both our curators will bring to the international photography landscape,” says Bourgeois. “Holly Roussell will highlight emerging photographers… Federica Chiocchetti will bring talented women to the forefront, carrying on the admirable work of [their] predecessors.”

A huge range of satellite events will take advantage of the fair’s international pull. This includes book fairs such as Offprint and Polycopies, which returns to its floating home on the Concorde-Atlantique boat, as well as exhibitions and launch parties. For four days, Paris will be illuminated by photography, a place to discover new work and connect with galleries and publishers from across the world.

Magnolia, Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1987 © Graciela Iturbide. Courtesy of Toluca Fine Art.

Paris Photo takes place from 10 to 13 November 2022 at the Grand Palais Éphémère.

Marigold Warner

Deputy Editor

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Deputy Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Elephant, Gal-dem, The Face, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.