Your Definitive Guide to Paris Photo 2019

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Penny Slinger, Penny as Shakti 2, 1976, Photo by Nik DouglasCopyright the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

Paris Photo returns to the French capital this week. Here, a guide to the book signings, film screenings, conversations, and exhibitions to see at the world’s largest international photography fair

Book signings

As image-makers flock to the Grand Palais for Paris Photo, there are many opportunities to meet the people behind the work and get books signed by your favourite photographers. Among the 300 book signings taking place over the fair’s four days, some highlights include...

  1. Thomas Lohr (Gezeiten at Galerie Antonine Catzéflis, November 8)
  2. Sophie Calle (at Editions Xavier Barral, booth SE9, November 7)
  3. Karen Knorr (Gentleman at Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, booth C20, November 7)
  4. Edgar Martins (What Photography and Incarceration Have in Common with an Empty Vase at Galeria Filomena Soares, booth A22, November 8)
  5. Ethan James Green (Young New York at Aperture, booth SE6, November 9)
  6. Gregory Halpern (Omaha Sketchbook at MACK Books, booth SE4, November 9)
  7. Eamonn Doyle (Dublin Trilogy at Textuel, booth SE10, November 9 and 10)
  8. Mark Steinmetz (Carnival at Yancey Richardson Gallery, B30, November 9)
  9. Pieter Hugo (at Editorial RM, booth SE12, November 9)

Joel-Peter Witkin

In celebration of Joel-Peter Witkin’s 80th birthday, the seminal artist’s past works go on show in a joint venture from Paris’ Galerie Baudoin Lebon and Tucson’s Etherton Gallery. Witkin’s rich photography has referenced and influenced artists before and after him for four decades: his 1983 photograph Sanitarium, and its nude, masked female figure, inspired the finale of Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2001 show. Often surreal, grotesque, and visceral, Witkin’s black and white studies have defied the traditions of 20th- and 21st-century photography.

Tim Walker 

Michael Hoppen Gallery brings a selection of portraits by Tim Walker to Paris, coinciding with its London exhibition of Walker’s photography entitled Wonderful People. The show reveals how Walker – who appears in the pages of AnOther Magazine A/W19 speaking about his mammoth V&A exhibition, Wonderful Things – takes the same playful, surreal, fantastical approach in his portraiture as in his fashion photography. Look out for the likes of Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard, Timothée Chalamet and Madonna in Walker’s extraordinary photographs.

Emerging artists in the Curiosa section

For the second iteration of the fair’s Curiosa section (the first last year focused on erotica in photography), several emerging image-makers are being highlighted by curator Osei Bonsu. 

  1. Alfredo Rodriguez works with projectors and collage to create entirely new photographic depictions of the body
  2. Elsa Leydier manipulates the aesthetics of existing imagery – often geographical – relating to her home country of Brazil
  3. David Meshki, born in Tbilisi, captures gymnasts as they train and perform, and exhibits these images alongside close-up studies of rocky landscapes
  4. Leandro Feal hones in on the transgressive nightlife scene in his home country, Cuba
  5. Johanna Benaïnous and Elsa Parra together reimagine and inhabit various different city-dwelling characters in their surreal, fictional scenes
  6. Marguerite Bornhauser creates visceral, context-free studies that centre on natural scenes and striking textures

See the full line-up of artists exhibiting in the Curiosa section here.

Gina Pane and Penny Slinger

Richard Saltoun Gallery highlights the powerful, feminist work of Gina Pane and Penny Slinger. Photographs of Pane’s 1970s performance pieces – or ‘actions’, as the artist labelled them – that centred on an exploration of pain will show alongside Slinger’s erotic collages and body-prints, intended as a reframing of female pleasure and desire. Both artists incorporate their own bodies into their work: Pane, for example, would make cuts on her limbs with thorns and razor blades during performances in the 1970s. The exhibition also addresses recent renewed interest in Slinger’s work by looking at the artist’s recent collaboration with Dior, and the golden dollhouse look she designed for the house’s Autumn/Winter 2019 haute couture collection.

Joel Sternfeld

In Paris Photo’s Prismes section, large-format photography by global artists is celebrated. The striking photographs featured in Joel Sternfeld’s book American Prospects, first published in 1987, documented vast landscapes and singular characters the image-maker encountered in travels across his home country. Sternfeld’s photographs hone in on the drama and dark irony of everyday life in the United States during this period. On show today with Xippas, Paris, the searing colour prints are still relevant to and revealing of contemporary America.


This year’s fair boasts an exciting programme of talks and conversations with both emerging and established artists. Some names not to miss include...

  1. Tom Wood (November 7)
  2. Bruce Gilden (November 7)
  3. Katrien de Blauwer (November 8)
  4. Joel Meyerowitz (November 8)
  5. Martin Parr (November 8)
  6. Nate Lewis (November 8; Lewis is also one of the emerging artists featured in the fair’s Curiosa section)
  7. Tyler Mitchell (November 9)

Head here for the full schedule.

Jim Goldberg 

Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg’s 1995 series Raised by Wolves is presented as a solo exhibit at this year’s Paris Photo. Goldberg began Raised by Wolves in 1985, when he started following and photographing teenage runaways who lived on the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco, telling their stories with compassion and candour. He would work on the project for the next decade, culminating in the 1995 book. Comprising photographs, annotations handwritten by its subjects, home videos and items belonging to them, this exhibition of Raised by Wolves highlights the series’ unflinching intimacy, almost 25 years after its original release.

Sam Haskins and Frauke Eigen 

The work of Sam Haskins, the late image-maker behind 1964’s runaway success publication Cowboy Kate & Other Stories, and German photographer Frauke Eigen are brought together in an exhibition from Atlas Gallery, London. Both Haskins and Eigen have dealt with the nude in their work, though in different eras and with different perspectives. Haskins made his name with the fictional photographic story of Cowboy Kate, told via cinematic, characterful black and white portraits, while Eigen’s lens might hone in on sections of her subject’s body in one instance, or branches of blossom against the sky in another, both artists’ nude studies are elegantly captivating.

Film screenings

A film and video programme curated by Matthieu Orléan sees an exciting mix of documentary and artistic film projects screened throughout the weekend. Don’t miss the following...

  1. The Past is Always New, The Future is Always Nostalgic, a documentary on Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama (November 8)
  2. Steven Arnold: Heavenly Bodies, with narration by Anjelica Huston, this documentary spotlights the incredible life and career of the countercultural artist Steven Arnold (November 7 and 9)
  3. Salters Cottages by Gary Schneider, a short film crafted in 1991 in Long Island, New York, by Schneider and starring his peers Peter Hujar, John Erdman, Suzanne Joelson and Gary Stephan (screened at Jeu de Paume on November 9, which is hosting an exhibition of Hujar’s photography)

Paris Photo runs from November 7 – 9, 2019 at the Grand Palais.