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Annie Leibovitz Exhibition to be Presented by Wexner Center in Fall 2012
April 23, 2012—This fall, the Wexner Center for the Arts will devote the entirety of its gallery space to Annie Leibovitz, a major presentation of the photographer’s work. The exhibition has been organized by the Wexner Center and will be on view September 21–December 30, 2012. It will feature more than 200 photographs, including portraits of several artists who have appeared over the years at the Wex, some of whom are Wexner Prize recipients. The bulk of the exhibition will consist of works from Leibovitz’s “Master Set,” an authoritative edition of 156 images she personally chose in the spring of 2009. Leibovitz oversaw the printing of a limited edition of large archival pigment prints for the set. The Wexner Center is the first institution to have the opportunity to exhibit the Master Set as a whole.
The presentation will be augmented by recent work from Leibovitz’s “Pilgrimage” project, a series of photographs of interiors, landscapes, and talismanic objects attached to historical figures—Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Elvis Presley, among others.
Express is the presenting sponsor for this exhibition. At left, Bill T. Jones, New York City, 1993. Above, Louise Bourgeois,New York City, 1997. Images © Annie Leibovitz.
Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. By 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she developed a large body of work that expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life. Leibovitz has had unique access to many of the most notable figures of our time. She has photographed U.S. presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama as well as hundreds of athletes, actors, artists, dancers, musicians, fashion designers, scientists, and business leaders. She has also created several influential advertising campaigns, including her award-winning portraits for American Express and the Gap.
By no means are all of Leibovitz’s subjects famous. In the special projects that became books on “women” and “music,” she brought her approach to portraiture to figures who might not necessarily be featured in a magazine. She has spent significant amounts of time on stories that were not an assignment: the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, for instance, and the formation of the White Oak Dance Group with Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was the official photographer of the World Cup Games in Mexico in 1985 and of the summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. She made a series of portraits of people living with AIDS in San Francisco, worked with the Nature Conservancy on a sequence of landscapes of wilderness areas, and documented the construction of Renzo Piano’s New York Times building.
Several collections of Leibovitz’s work have been published. They include Annie Leibovitz: Photographs (1983); Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970–1990 (1991); Olympic Portraits (1996); Women (1999), in collaboration with Susan Sontag; American Music (2003); A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005 (2006); Annie Leibovitz at Work (2008), a first-person commentary on her career; and Pilgrimage (2011). Exhibitions of Leibovitz’s work have appeared at museums and galleries all over the world, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Leibovitz is the recipient of many honors. In 2006 she was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. The previous year, in a compilation of the forty top magazine covers of the past forty years by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), she held the top two spots (#1 for the photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken for Rolling Stone the day Lennon was shot, and #2 for the pregnant Demi Moore in Vanity Fair). In 2009, she received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award, ASME’s first Creative Excellence Award, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.
Media contact: Karen Simonian, firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-292-9923