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October 5, 2007

The Art Basel Miami week will be the most important single event in the photography world, as well as the American art world. In total well over 165-175 dealers will be selling photography in their booths at the various Miami shows in December from Tuesday the 4th through Sunday the 9th.

But the bulk of the contemporary photography action will take place at one location between two massive and elegant tents set up in the Wynwood Art District at NW 31st and North Miami Avenue. AIPAD's Photography Show Miami and Artfair's Photo Miami will total over 105 photography exhibitors between them, far outpacing any other competing shows.

Miami in December is must event for any serious curator or collector. And, if last year's event was any indication, the weather will be balmy and the city and its beaches will be tempting, frantic and fun. Over 50,000 people are expected, so make your reservations now.

My own company, Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, which is located in suburban Philadelphia and available by private appointment, will exhibit new work from a dozen international artists at the new AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) Photography Show Miami this December 4-9, 2007.

Many of our featured artists are expected to be in attendance at various times during the show. Their images are on our website at http://www.contemporaryworks.net .

We will also show a key selection of top 20th-century vintage masterworks, including work from Irving Penn, Man Ray, Raul Ubac, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Francois Kollar, Brassai, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Horst, Josef Sudek, Edward Weston and Edouard Boubat. Because of our focus on contemporary work at this show, please make sure you call us now (1-215-822-5662) if you want us to bring a particular photograph to the show.

The primary contemporary artists and their work on display at the Miami show include:

--Arthur Tress, who is considered by many to be one of the greatest living contemporary art photographers, will show his large-scale color work based on now destroyed installations that he created in New York City and Paris. This installation work--most of which Tress himself pulled together and spray painted in an abandoned hospital on New York's Welfare Island--is a largely unknown facet of this artist's extensive career, because the hospital was torn down without the work being shown to the public. The photographs are the only documentation of these stunning compositions and are prime examples of some of the cross-fertilization of different art forms/media that has taken place over the last few decades. Contemporary Works will also show a sampling of his classical black and white photographs in large prints. Tress, whose work has been featured at many important museum venues, including a major retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2001, continues to work on the cutting edge with new work focused on paint-ball warfare and skate-board competitions. His new "Pointers" black and white series will also be available to view at the Contemporary Works' booth. Tress says about this work, "Pointers are a series of photographs made in the past two years that are done at a 45 degree angle. This creates a diamond shape format, much as Mondrian's "Lozenge" paintings. Shooting in this unusual shape changes the photographic boarder from one of containment and framing to one of dynamic cutting and asymmetrical segments." (Tress is expected to be at the show from Dec. 6-10.) See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6606 .

-- Lisa Holden is a British artist based in Amsterdam. She has exhibited in London, the United States and throughout Europe. Holden's color photo works succeed in seamlessly combining two media that are frequently considered at opposite poles: the digital and the hand-painted. In her compositions, which sample imagery from early studio photography, classical painting, performance art and consumer culture, Holden has developed a painstaking technique of combining footage from digital still and video cameras with scanned-in, hand-tinted layers, making it impossible to distinguish any overlap. Integrating the digital artefacts randomly generated by the repeated layering process into the final composition, her portrait becomes obscured, iterating the artist’s ongoing interest in alternate personas and constructed reality. The finishing of Holden's large-scale pieces, which drip with lush abstract acrylic paints and varnishes, balances the rival interests of digital and analogue media, new and traditional imagery, realism and fantasy. Holden's work has been recently featured in cover articles in FOTO (Sweden) and CameraArts (USA), as well in other major articles in Eyemazing (Netherlands), New York Arts (USA) and Focus (USA) magazines. The latter magazine's latest issue compares her work to that of Cindy Sherman, Pipilotti Rist and Tracey Moffatt. "But", the article continues, "Holden's imagery stands apart with her interest in themes of identity and gender combined with fantasy and art historical precedents, as well as for her unique process that merges photography with painting and sometimes installation and performance art." Contemporary Works will be showing a just-finished painted three-part series on Danae, who was mother of Perseus by Zeus. The story has classical art roots as well, with both Titian and Rembrandt interpreting the subject. (Holden is expected to be at the show from Dec. 4-9.) See examples of her work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/4205 .

--Michael A. Smith's work has been included in over 200 exhibitions. In addition, he has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and he has been the recipient of major commissions to photograph four American cities. In 1981, Smith's first book, the two-volume monograph, "Landscapes 1975–1979", was awarded Le Grand Prix du Livre at the Rencontres Internationale de la Photographie in Arles, France. In 1992, Smith was honored with a 25-year retrospective exhibition at the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House in Rochester, NY. To mark the occasion, "Michael A Smith: A Visual Journey--Photographs from Twenty-Five Years" was published. Smith's newest work--so fresh it is still unpublished, but will be shown in Miami for the first time--is a color series on Inmates who have been charged with capital crimes. (Smith is expected to be at the show from Dec. 4-7.) See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6804 .

--Claudia Kunin has intermittently had exhibitions of her personal work while pursuing a career in commercial photography. A partial client list includes: AT&T, American Express, Wells Fargo Bank, Concorde Pictures, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Ford Motor Co., Sprint Communications, Rolling Stone, Martha Stewart, Wm. Morrison and Penguin Books. She is now solely pursuing her fine art and has a number of bodies of accomplished work, including: "Revenant", "Ghost Stories" and "Holy Ghost Stories", the latter of which Contemporary Works will be exhibiting for the first time as near life-size color photographs at the Miami show. Much like the manner of painters who would make their background images from a book of sketches, Kunin constructs her backgrounds from various photographs she has taken all over the world. She then shoots the models in the studio to illustrate the allegorical tale, and afterwards knits the picture together from all the various elements. These powerful archetypal images are virtually unique in contemporary art. As Kunin says, "The composite images in the series are portals, thresholds between this world and the 'other'. They tell tales that bring us to the nexus of fear and faith, reuniting us with popular ideas whose threads have run through Western civilization for millennia." (Kunin is expected to be at the show from Dec. 4-9.) See examples of her work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6782 .

-- Marcus Doyle is presently working and living in London, although he spent several years photographing based out of Los Angeles. His images, which are shot during the twilight or evening hours, exhibit highly saturated colors and a formalism that hints of surrealism. Doyle has had several one-man shows, including "Isolation London" and "Dumped London", and his work has recently been featured at the AIPAD NY Photography Show, Art Chicago, Paris Photo, Photo London, Photo LA, Photo San Francisco and Photo New York. A book of his color work entitled "Marcus Doyle: Night Vision: Intimacies of an Unblinking Eye" was published in late 2005. Focus magazine (USA) and Fotografi (Norway) have both run major articles on Doyle's color photographs. In addition, Harper's magazine's May 2006 issue had a photograph by Doyle in its "Reader's Section", which is devoted to up-and-coming artists and authors. One of his newest works, the ghostly "Solway Firth Lifeboat Ramp, Scotland" will be on display for the first time, along with many of his other popular night-time images. See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/3727 .

--Mitch Dobrowner has won numerous awards over the last few years for his unworldly black and white landscapes, including the latest two, a first prize in the Nature category for his B&W photo entry, "Rainstorm" from the French Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) Competition and the 2007 Lucie Awards' Best Amateur Nature Photographer. His work has also been recently featured in Black & White magazine and in a cover article in Lenswork. The artist describes his subject and his response to it this way: "The Earth is an ever changing eco-system. It's existed well before we were here and will hopefully be here well beyond the time we leave it. It's real, at times beautifully surreal, powerfully haunting and alive, all at the same time." Several of his new 30 x 40 inch prints will be on display. See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6597 .

-- Vladimír Birgus is considered to be one of the top Czech scholars and writers on Czech photography, as well as a talented contemporary photographer. He has written dozens of books and had his photographs published many times, including in two monographs, "Vladimír Birgus: Cosi nevyslovitelného--Something Unspeakable" and "Vladimír Birgus: Fotografie 1981-2004/Photographs 1981-2004". His color photography uses strong color to convey mystery and a quixotic sense of life. He has photographed all over the world, including Asia, North America, Central America and Europe. As Elzbieta Lubowicz notes in her introduction (to his monograph), Birgus uses large areas of dominant color--often primaries, and often red or yellow--to create an "unrealistic atmosphere [that reminds] us of abstract paintings more than of reality recordings." And yet his images are always in touch with the grit and texture of the modern, urban world. The human figures in his geometrically flattened landscapes of intersecting planes, shadows and sun-struck color are recognizably self-absorbed, often standing or walking in relation to one another, but without narrative or emotional connection. His photographs are in the collections of many institutions, including the Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the Bibliothéque National (Paris), the Museet for Fotokunst, the International Center of Photography (New York) and the Yokohama Museum of Art. See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6533 .

--Michael Philip Manheim's multi-exposure nude dance work has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Germany, Greece and Italy. His work has been featured in magazines such as Zoom (U.S. and Italy), Photographers International (Taiwan), La Fotografia (Spain), Black and White magazine, and numerous other publications. He has been Artist in Residence at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. Intrigued with the themes of change and transformation, Manheim developed a signature style of layering phases of movement onto a single frame of film. This approach transcends a literal interpretation. He calls this series the "Rhythm from Within". Manheim's photographs are held in public and private collections, including the Library of Congress, the International Photography Hall of Frame & Museum, the Danforth Museum of Art and the Bates College Museum of Art. He has had over 15 solo exhibitions, including a current exhibit from September 27-October 27, 2007 at Safe-T-Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 214 in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, NY. Julian Cox, curator of photography at Atlanta's High Museum of Art, noted that Manheim's photographs "have passion and beauty, and clearly considerable skill has gone into their execution." See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/6520 .

--Joel D. Levinson has had two books to date, including "Fleamarkets" and "Joel D. Levinson, Photographs". A third book, "After Eden", is currently in the works. There have been more than 50 magazine and international print articles featuring his work, including Aperture, Art, Artforum, Artfactum, Arts, Artweek, High Performance, Horizon, Interview, New Art International, People, Picture and Zoom. Besides these two books, Levinson is also listed in Witkin and London's The Photograph Collector, the Macmillan Biographical Encyclopedia of Photographic Artists & Innovators; and Of People and Places: The Floyd and Josephine Segel Collection of Photography. He has been included in every edition of Who's Who in American Art since 1984. He is also in the Auer & Auer and the George Eastman House databases of photographers. Levinson has had more than 31 one-man shows, including shows at the Center for Creative Photography-Tucson, the O.K. Harris Gallery, the Lamagna Gallery, the Mateyka Gallery, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Louisville J.B. Speed Art Museum, the Midwest Museum of American Art, the Crocker Art Museum, the Runter Museum of Art, the Davidson Art Center (Wesleyan University), the America Haus-Berlin, the Sprengel Art Museum and the Wilhelm Hack Art Museum. His large color photographs from his "After Eden" series on the English Gardens in Munich, Germany--a park known for its casual public clothing optional policy--will be exhibited in Miami at Contemporary Works' booth at the AIPAD Photography Show. See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/3708 .

One of our other artists, Stanko Abadzic, will have a one-man show at the Galerie Zur Stockeregg booth at AIPAD. Galerie Zur Stockeregg represents Abadzic in Europe and will sell his work exclusively at the show. Make sure you stop by their booth. See examples of his work at: http://www.contemporaryworks.net/artists/artist_imgs.php/1/4783 .