International Programming Highlights for PHOTOFAIRS'Inaugural US Edition in San Francisco

Nov 16, 2016 5:00AM

© Rene Burri, South Korea, 1987. Courtesy of Magnum Photos, London, Paris and New York.

·    A current edit of contemporary photographic trends will be presented at the fair

·    Many works available to acquire in the US for the first time

·    Key San Francisco institutions supporting the fair

·    Tickets on sale now for PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco, January 27-29 at Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason at

·    Tweet: .@Photo_Fairs brings never before seen international photography  to San Francisco

·    Website:

The World Photography Organisation’s PHOTOFAIRS, international art fairs dedicated to photography, today revealed its key programming themes for its first US edition in San Francisco.  The announcement follows the posting of the strongest ever sales at the third edition of its sister fair in Shanghai which ran from September 9-11, 2016. 

The inaugural edition of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco, which opens to collectors on Thursday January 26, 2017 at Festival Pavilion | Fort Mason, will focus on presenting work by international artists never before seen in the Bay Area.  

It will also shine a spotlight on key photographic talent from the United States’ West Coast, a nod to the city’s strong photographic legacy and its position as of one the US’s most important locations for the medium of photography.  As such, the fair will be working with leading galleries including: M97 Gallery (Shanghai); Flowers (London, New York & Hong Kong); Ratio 3 (San Francisco); Casemore Kirkeby (San Francisco); Danziger Gallery (New York); Edwynn Houk Gallery (New York & Zürich); Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery (New York); Three Shadows +3 Gallery (Beijing & Xiamen); CAMERA WORK (Berlin), and ROSEGALLERY (Santa Monica).  The full list of galleries will be announced shortly.

Presented in a highly curated and elegant environment, over 300 works of art from carefully chosen US and international galleries will be presented for sale.  The fair will include a very current selection of contemporary photographic trends, alongside stellar examples of hand-selected blue-chip vintage material. 

Alexander Montague-Sparey, Artistic Director, PHOTOFAIRS, comments: “We are honored to bring to San Francisco — a city so heavily synonymous with the photographic medium — a very refreshing, focused and cutting-edge international edit of some of the best opportunities available in the market at this time. In a very nurturing, boutique context, this new platform aims to highlight the wonders of the medium both aesthetically and intellectually, whilst underlining it as a tantalizing opportunity for both the new and seasoned collector.”  


Key program themes, artists and galleries


Expanding the discourse of international photography is at the core of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco.  The organizers are therefore excited to present work new to the Bay Area from countries such as Spain, China, Japan, Switzerland and Turkey, among others. 

From Japan, celebrated artists Sohei Nishino, Yuki Onodera and Aki Lumi will be presented at the fair, with all three being part of the current Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now exhibition at SFMOMA through March 2017.  A talk with leading Japanese photography collectors Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz will be included in the fair’s Conversations program.

Galleries from the Middle East will also be spotlighted with East Wing (Dubai) presenting the US debut of Swiss-based artists Cortis & Sonderegger and leading Iranian fine art photographer Mehdi Abdolkarimi, with Mohsen Gallery (Tehran).

The fair will also highlight stellar works by European artists including Martin Kollar (Galerie & Edition Stephan Witschi, Zürich); Tina Berning & Michelangelo di Baptista (CAMERA WORK, Berlin); Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre and Alejandro Guijarro (Tristan Hoare, London).  Guijarro will also feature in the fair’s Conversations program.

CAMERA WORK Executive Board Member, Ute Hartjen, comments: “After three very successful fairs with the team in Shanghai, PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco gives us the very best opportunity to present our artists in the United States under the most promising conditions.”



PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco will see the US fair debut of many of our galleries, giving collectors unique access to work from across the world, and galleries access to new collectors.  The list includes: 

·    China – Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai) and Pan-View Gallery (Zhengzhou)

·    Iran – Mohsen Gallery (Tehran)

·    Netherlands – andriesse eyck galerie (Amsterdam)

·    Switzerland – Galerie & Edition Stephan Witschi (Zürich)

·    Turkey – ELIPSIS PROJECTS (Istanbul & London)

·    United Arab Emirates – East Wing (Dubai)

·    United States – Rubber Factory (New York) 

Sinem Yoruk, Director, ELIPSIS PROJECTS comments: “We are delighted to be participating in PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco and are very excited to be showing new, never before seen works by Ahmet Ertug in the United States.”



Highlighting key talent from the Bay Area and the West Coast is another important element of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco.  San Francisco gallery Ratio 3 will present West Coast artist Buck Ellison alongside conceptual German photographer Miriam Böhm, while ROSEGALLERY (Santa Monica), will exhibit John Chiara with emerging Dutch photographer Dirk Braekman.  New York based Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery will exhibit local artist Jim Campbell.



Established names from the world of contemporary photography available to acquire at the fair include: Vik Muniz, Abelardo Morell, Sally Mann and Valérie Belin (Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York & Zürich); Ahmet Ertug (ELIPSIS PROJECTS, London & Istanbul); Paul Fusco (Danziger Gallery, New York), Herb Ritts and Peter Lindbergh (CAMERA WORK, Berlin) and Yang Fudong (Three Shadows +3 Gallery, Beijing & Xiamen) who will be featured alongside more emerging artists such as Kate Stone (Rubber Factory, New York), Jungjin Lee (Galerie & Edition Stephan Witschi, Zürich) and Wang Ningde (M97 Gallery, Shanghai).

Gallerist Mr. Edwynn Houk comments: “PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco is appealing to Houk Gallery not only because of the significant number of important collectors there, but also because of the unique make-up of the fair. This curated approach to a boutique fair – dedicated to photography – promises to be a comfortable presentation for experienced collectors, as well as new collectors who would like to spend time in conversation with the exhibitors.”



Exploring the history of photography, key works by masters of black and white photography from the twentieth century will also be offered.  This includes:  Irving Penn (CAMERA WORK, Berlin), Herbert List (Magnum Photos, London, Paris & New York), Edward Weston and Danny Lyon (both Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York & Zürich)The first major retrospective of Lyon’s work in 25 years is currently showing at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.

The full list of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco galleries and artists will be announced soon at


Public program

Enabling collectors and audiences to engage with living contemporary artists is a key element of PHOTOFAIRS. 

The San Francisco fair’s public program will bring together experts from across the industry and give collectors access to museum-quality exhibitions.  The program includes Conversations, a rigorous and relevant series of talks drawing on key themes and ideas seen throughout the fair, as well as Insights, a curated exhibited offering unique pieces for private sale.

Conversations highlights include:

·       British artist Paul Graham looks at 30 years of publishing, including his most recent book The Present

·       Collecting with a Focus: The Huyck Katz Collection. LA based collectors Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz will explore their extraordinary collection of Japanese photography. The timing of the conversation will coincide with the release of their new book, Views of Japan, published by Steidl

•   Contemporary Moving Image.  Curator Lindsay Howard will discuss current trends in the fields of film, video, animation and internet art with Zachary Kaplan (Executive Director, Rhizome, New Museum), Jason Eppink (Curator of Digital Media at the Museum of the Moving Image), Michael Huang (Collector and Co-Founder, M WOODS, Beijing) and Tiffany Zabludowicz (Independent curator and collector)

Entry to all Conversations events and book signings will be included in the ticket price.

Insights, exploring alternative processes in photography

Following its hugely successful launch at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai in September 2016, the fair’s museum quality selling-exhibition Insights, will explore living artists’ maverick approaches to the medium through the use of contemporary techniques. 

Co-curated by PHOTOFAIRS Artistic Director Alexander Montague-Sparey and Allie Haeusslein, Associate Director, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, the exhibition will be presented through two chapters: the first focusing on works exploring the Western landscape by West-Coast artists, whilst the second will present works from further afield from other parts of America, Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. The aim of the exhibition is to place local artists alongside international ones, to underline the breadth of this theme within contemporary photography. Artists on show from the West Coast will include Chris McCaw, Sean McFarland and Meghann Riepenhoff. The international offering will explore the work of 20 artists including Sissi Farassat, Shao Wenhuan, Esther Vonplon, and Anja Niemi.

To further contextualize this important movement within contemporary photography, Virginia Heckert, Curator and Department Head, Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum, will lead a conversation with selected artists featured in the exhibition, in a talk entitled: Materiality and Memory: New Approaches to Landscape Photography.


VIP Highlights

Key San Francisco institutions, galleries and artists will participate in the PHOTOFAIRS VIP program, including:

·    Private tour of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s new Pritzker Center for Photography, featuring diane arbus: in the beginning and Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now

·    Visit to Pier 24 Photography to see the exhibition Collected with an introduction by Allie Haeusslein and remarks by Dan Holland.
The de Young Museum will offer a behind-the-scenes view of the Ed Ruscha Archive and an exhibition tour of Danny Lyon: Message to the Future, led by Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator, and Karin Breuer, Curator in Charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

·    Artist studio visits with Sean McFarland, Erica Deeman and Klea McKenna at Minnesota Street Project Studios

The full VIP program will be announced online at



PHOTOFAIRS is pleased to welcome the support and participation of the inaugural US edition sponsors and cultural partners.

PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco is supported by Official Wine Partner Banshee, VIP Lounge Design Partner Birch + Taylor and Official Private Jet Partner Surf Air. Additional partners include SELECT, Four Barrel, Minnesota Street Project Art Services, Smith Andersen North, and Depict, each of whom is committed to the artistic medium of photography and investment in the arts.

The fair’s Cultural Partners include: The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Chinese Cultural Center; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts; Contemporary Jewish Museum; di Rosa; Filter Photo; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - de Young & Legion of Honor; Museum of the African Diaspora; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Photographic Center Northwest; RayKo Photo Center; Root Division; SF Camerawork; San Francisco Art Dealers Association; San Francisco Art Institute, and SOMArts.

Media partners of the fair include:, Aesthetica, ArtReview, ArtReview Asia, KQED Public Broadcasting, Modern Luxury - San Francisco Magazine and Silicon Valley Magazine, Musée, Ran Dian, San Francisco Arts Quarterly, So It Goes, and Whitewall.  The official Online Partner of the fair is Artsy.  Artsy's online preview will launch on January 19 on and on the Artsy app for iPhone & iPad.

PHOTOFAIRS key dates

PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco

o   Press and Collectors’ Preview (by invitation only): Thursday 26 January 2017, 5-6pm

o   Opening Night (by invitation only): Thursday 26 January 2017, 6-10pm

o   Public Days: Friday, January 27 & Saturday, January 28, 11am-7pm / Sunday, January 29, 11am-5pm


Experts from across the art world who have supported the international growth of PHOTOFAIRS include:

  • Allie Haeusslein, Associate Director, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (USA)
  • Virginia Heckert, Curator & Department Head, Getty Museum, Los Angeles (USA)
  • Matthieu Humery, Creative Director & Director of Programming, LUMA Foundation, Arles (France)
  • Jiyoon Lee, Managing Director, MMCA Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul (South Korea)
  • Michael Mack, Founder, MACK Books, London (UK)
  • John MacMahon, Collector, Member of the Contemporary Arts Council, New York MOMA (USA)
  • Nion McEvoy, Chairman & CEO of Chronicle Books / Collector, San Francisco (USA)
  • Christopher Phillips, Independent critic and curator, New York (USA)
  • Mary Robinson, Collector, San Francisco (USA)
  • Urs Stahel, Founder, Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland) and Curator, MAST, Bologna (Italy)
  • Lu Xun, Collector / Founder & Director, Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing (China)


Now in its fourth year, the first PHOTOFAIRS destination PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai continues to reflect the increasing demand in China and the wider Asia Pacific region for collectable photography. PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is now the benchmark for contemporary photography in this region, as demonstrated by the successes of the past three years both in terms of sales and visitor numbers. The 2016 edition welcomed more than 27,000 visitors to see 50 galleries from 15 countries covering 24 cities and confirmed PHOTOFAIRS’ position as the leading destination for collectable photography in Asia.


The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives.  Working across more than 180 countries, our aim is to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with both individual photographers and our industry-leading partners around the world.  The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of events including: the Sony World Photography Awards (the world's largest photography competition, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017), various local meetups/talks throughout the year, and PHOTOFAIRS, International Art Fairs Dedicated to Photography, with destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco.  For more details see

For further information, images or interviews please contact: [email protected]

·    International inquiries: Jill Cotton, PR Director, PHOTOFAIRS (London) M: +44 20 7886 3043

·    US inquiries: Wendy Norris, Norris Communications (San Francisco) M: +1 415 307 3853