Leica celebrates iconic photographer Ralph Gibson at Photo London 2019

For the fourth year running, Leica camera has been selected as an Official Partner of Photo London. This year, Leica honours American art photographer and long-time Leica devotee Ralph Gibson with exclusive exhibitions, talks and events. Leica’s exhibition at Photo London will hold prime positioning at the international photography fair, located at the main (northside) entrance of the courtyard pavilion at Somerset House.

Photo London, will feature a retrospective of Gibson’s long career with images from his celebrated books and projects, spanning from 1960 to the early 2000s. Gibson is known for his evocative, sensual and surreal gaze, producing deeply monochromatic images via the combination of camera and rich black printing. 

Photo London showcases the very best of the past, present and future of photography. Guests can discover new work from established masters and rare vintage pieces alongside work from emerging artists. Attendees are invited to join Leica to view Gibson’s work and in particular, hear from the man himself by attending book signings and talks. Photo London will also offer an opportunity to learn more about Leica’s iconic product range and history.

Gibson’s long relationship with Leica began in 1961 when the head of the photography department at the California School of Fine Arts, where Gibson was then enrolled, loaned him a Leica M2 with a 35mm lens. It was the beginning of a relationship with Leica cameras that would endure for the next 60 years, and immeasurably aid in the forging of his visual style. In his recent autobiography “Self-Exposure” (2018), Gibson states that, “My Leica and I are interdependent.”

On Friday, 17 May Gibson will hold a book signing at the Leica exhibit at Photo London and give a talk hosted by Leica in the Lancaster Rooms at Somerset House. This talk will represent a retrospective of the photographer’s long career including all major projects and books.


The recently opened Leica Gallery London on Duke Street will continue their impressive programme of exhibitions by hosting a separate exhibition of Ralph Gibson’s work from 1970 onwards, 4 May – 23  June.  Visit for more information on Leica’s events and exhibits.


Notes to Editors


Ralph Gibson biography:

Born in 1939 in Los Angeles, Ralph Gibson is an American art photographer renowned for his books. In 1969, Gibson moved to New York and established Lustrum Press in order to exert control of the reproduction of his work, which often incorporates erotica, surrealism and mysterious undertones, fragmented, contextualised and juxtaposed. He’d been a Photographers Mate in the United States Navy in the 1950s, before studying at the San Francisco Art Institute and becoming an assistant to Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank in the 1960s. In 1970, his debut photography opus The Somnambulist met with acclaim, and he’s since published over 40 monographs. His generously-sized autobiography, Self-Exposure, was published in November by HENI. Collaborations include a campaign for Bottega Veneta in 2013, and his image Hand Through a Doorway was used on the inner sleeve of Joy Division’s seminal 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. Gibson’s works are to be found in several significant private and public collections, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the Whitney, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Among the photographer’s many lifetime achievement awards is the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and he’s a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France. Ralph Gibson has worked exclusively with Leica cameras for 50 years.

Press release - Leica celebrates iconic photographer Ralph Gibson at Photo London 2019
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