World Photography Organisation Announces Curators, Advisory Board, and Galleries for PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco's First Edition

Oct 11, 2016 2:51PM

Image courtesy of World Photography Organisation.

London (October 11): The World Photography Organisation today announced their curatorial program, advisory board and select featured galleries for PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco, the first US destination of its international art fairs dedicated to photography.

A boutique fair which takes place January 27-29, 2017 at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco will present fresh and cutting-edge work in a highly curated environment with a keen focus on international contemporary living artists. Working with leading galleries from around the world, the fair will position itself as the West Coast’s prime destination to acquire fine art photography and moving image.

The launch of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco follows the highly successful third edition of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai which closed on September 11, 2016 to record sales and visitor numbers. 

“PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai and San Francisco are today synonymous with the opportunity to discover new collectable contemporary artists who dedicate their practice to photography and moving image, alongside established names,” explains Alexander Montague-Sparey, Artistic Director, PHOTOFAIRS.  “The hand-picked works presented in both destinations celebrate fresh and relevant material at the regional and international level.  At the first edition of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco, I am excited to put that spotlight on the West Coast, alongside European and Asian artists never seen in the Bay area and who present especially interesting opportunities in the market at this time.”

San Francisco has been selected as PHOTOFAIRS’ second destination for its strong photographic legacy. Long regarded as a leading international center for photography, San Francisco is arguably today the most important city in the country for the medium, alongside New York. 

“Photography and photography collecting is in the DNA of San Francisco,” notes Montague-Sparey. “From the f.64 Group in the 1930s all the way to the brand new Pritzker Center for Photography at SFMOMA, San Francisco has always been very respectful and celebratory of photography as a medium, at the highest level.”

Scott Gray, CEO of World Photography Organisation and PHOTOFAIRS adds, San Francisco is home to world-class museums, commercial galleries, contemporary art collections, impressive private collections and a well-informed, dynamic collector base. PHOTOFAIRS is also an invitation to the art world for first time collectors”


Committed to introducing international contemporary photography as an exciting opportunity in the art world for seasoned and new collectors alike, PHOTOFAIRS provides a distinctive and considered platform for galleries from across the globe to showcase highly curated and contemporary presentations in a refreshing format.

The works on offer for sale will fall into three sectors: Main, Connected and Platform. 

Participating galleries confirmed for Main (established galleries of any age) include: Ratio 3 (San Francisco); ROSEGALLERY (Santa Monica); Edwynn Houk Gallery (New York & Zurich); Danziger Gallery (New York); Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai); Galerie Stephan Witschi (Zurich); Three Shadows +3 Gallery (Beijing) and CAMERA WORK (Berlin).

“We are very excited to participate in the first edition of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco at Fort Mason,” said James Danziger of Danziger Gallery. “It is a great opportunity to show in San Francisco, which is not only a serious and knowledgeable center of photography, but also one of the most dynamic market places in the United States.” 

Platform will spotlight emerging international galleries who have never before exhibited in the United States. Featured first time galleries include: Elipsis Projects (Istanbul & London); East Wing Gallery (Dubai) and Mohsen Gallery (Tehran).

Expanding on the fair’s recent focus on moving image and new-media works, New York based curator Lindsay Howard will guide ConnectedIntroduced for the first time at the 2016 edition of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai, this sector will showcase emerging and mid-career artists who specialize in digital mediums, including video, custom software, and web-based artwork. Connected will be accompanied by public programs led by experts in the field, who will discuss best practices for collecting, displaying, and conserving digital art. 



PHOTOFAIRS’ commitment to presenting relevant trends and themes within the market for collectable photography is further exemplified through curated programs and public talks which will spotlight a wide variety of international artists and experts from the industry.

Insights: New Approaches to Photography Since 2000, curated by Allie Haeusslein, Associate Director at Pier 24 Photography, and Alexander Montague-Sparey, is a museum-quality exhibition which will explore photographers committed to making unique prints using 21st century techniques. Following its launch at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai earlier this year, the San Francisco exhibition will spotlight important work by young West Coast artists including John Chiara, Christine Elfman, Chris McCaw, Sean McFarland and Meghann Riepenhoff, alongside European and Asian artists, and will offer collectors unique pieces for private sale. 

Talking about the exhibition, Haeusslein comments "Insights is an innovative platform within the context of an art fair, one that will engage and excite the community through a rigorously curated exhibition and compelling programming. Our focus on new approaches to the landscape—a subject with a long-standing relationship to the history of photography in the West—will be used to position contemporary photographers from this region alongside peers from around the world who share a similar visual sensibility or technical approach."


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

·       Allie Haeusslein, Associate Director, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco (USA)

·       Matthieu Humery, Creative Director & Director of Programming, LUMA Foundation, Arles (France)

·       Michael Mack, Founder, MACK Books, London (UK)

·       John MacMahon, Collector, Member of the Contemporary Arts Council, New York MOMA (USA)

·       Jiyoon Lee, Managing Director, MMCA Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul (Korea)

·       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)


  • PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco

o   Press Preview (by invitation only): Thursday 26 January 2017, 3-4pm

o   Collectors’ Preview (by invitation only): Thursday 26 January 2017, 4-6pm

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

o   Public Opening: Friday 27 – Sunday 29 January 2017



Now in its third 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 7838 144 992

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


PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco

January 27-29, 2017

Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center  



September 8-10, 2017                                             

Shanghai Exhibition Center