A new exhibition of newly commissioned photographs by popular photographer Annie Leibovitz named “WOMEN: New Portraits” will open to the public on Saturday 16 January 2016 at Wapping Hydraulic Power Station in London.
Following London, the exhibition will travel to Tokyo, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York and Zurich, in the course of the next 12 months. Access to the incredible works will be free to the public.
Leibovitz’s new work is a continuation of a project that began over fifteen years ago when her most enduringly popular series of photographs, ‘Women’, was published in 1999. Susan Sontag, with whom the original project was a collaboration, called it “a work in progress”. “WOMEN: New Portraits” will evolve over the coming year as Leibovitz photographs women in each of the host cities and regions.
The new portraits unveiled in London feature women of outstanding achievement including artists, musicians, CEOs, politicians, writers and philanthropists. In addition to the new photographs, the exhibition includes work from the original series, as well as other unpublished photographs taken since.
Annie Leibovitz said: “It is extraordinary to do this work for UBS on a subject that I really care about. It is such a big undertaking and a broad subject, it is like going out and photographing the ocean.”
Sergio P. Ermotti, Group Chief Executive Officer, UBS, said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with Annie on this project, which celebrates women, their strength and their role in bringing about positive change in the world. She is the best in her field and the tour builds on our long-standing support of initiatives which help shape contemporary culture”.
Aligned with the focus UBS places on education, a series of free learning programmes will accompany the exhibition, presented in partnership with cultural organizations around the world. These initiatives will explore ways of seeing through photography, working with young people in local schools and communities. In London UBS are partnering with The Photographers’ Gallery to present free family workshops for the duration of the exhibition run, and with Central St Martins on a workshop for their photography students. A Teachers’ Guide produced in partnership with the International Center of Photography in New York and a Children’s Activity Guide are available on the exhibition website. UBS will also present a talks programme, ‘Women for Women’ through 2016. Launching in March in San Francisco, these events will accompany the exhibition tour and will address topics of global relevance to women and women’s rights.
Annie Leibovitz has been making powerful images documenting popular culture since the early 1970s, when she began working as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone. She became the magazine’s chief photographer in 1973, and ten years later began working for Vanity Fair and then Vogue. Her large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the best-known portraits of our time.
Exhibitions of Leibovitz’s work have been shown at museums and galleries around the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the National Portrait Gallery in London; and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her work is held in museum collections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. to the National Portrait Gallery in London. She has published several collections of photographs and is the recipient of many honours. In 2006 she was made a ‘Commandeur’ in the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French government. In 2009, she received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the first Creative Excellence Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts and the Wexner Prize. In 2013 she received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. She has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.
A set of the new photographs will enter the UBS Art Collection – one of the world’s most important corporate collections of contemporary art, comprising more than 30,000 works.