Over the past ten years, Leica has honored twelve renowned photographers around the world for their lives' work, by inducting them into the Leica Hall of Fame. Now a Leica Picture of the Year has been designated for the first time, with the aim of sharing this success with all Leica enthusiasts.
The first Leica Picture of the Year is a limited-edition print by Ralph Gibson, the winner of the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2021, and was taken on the newly released Leica M11 (opens in new tab). In the future, further Leica Hall of Famers will also be producing a Leica Picture of the Year.
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These limited editions will be exclusively available at the 25 Leica Galleries worldwide – a collaboration that will offer collectors the perfect opportunity to build up a unique collection of works by great Leica photographers.
Born in Los Angeles in 1939, Gibson is considered one of the most important and style-defining photographers of his generation. Even today, his imagery remains as individual as it is timeless. Frequently taken close-up to the subject, his motifs reflect a fascinating interplay of abstraction and objectivity.
From his base in New York, Gibson's photograph was taken a couple of months ago on Long Island and is unpublished to date. The materials shimmer and the hues glow softly: the narrow excerpt of an image of a motorboat is transformed into an exciting and dynamic composition of lines, surfaces and color.
As a Leica Picture of the Year, this beautifully-captured moment now becomes a collector's item – a photograph with great visual appeal: a motif with a strong graphic configuration and an elegant, painting-like quality.
The fine art print measures 8.18 x 12.28 inches (20.8 x 31.2 cm), is signed on the front, and is presented in a special box with a certificate of authenticity and special edition numbering, denoting its place in the limited edition run of 75 copies worldwide. Each print will cost £1,600 (approximately $2,160 / AU$3,010) and will be available from February 2022.
"How lovely that we were able to gain Ralph Gibson's support for a Leica Picture of the Year, which we have long wanted to do," said Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director and General Representative of Leica Galleries International. "With this print, we and all the Leica Galleries are honoring a great photographer, who has created an unforgettable oeuvre in over 60 years of prosperous loyalty to the Leica brand.”
Other Leica Hall of Fame recipients to date are Steve McCurry, Barbara Klemm, Nick Út, René Burri, Thomas Hoepker, Ara Güler, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Joel Meyerowitz, Bruce Davidson, Jürgen Schadeberg, and Walter Vogel.