Leica Picture of the Year 2021

Leica Galleries International have launched the Leica Picture of the Year. The first designated photograph was taken by Ralph Gibson, winner of the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2021. The motif has been printed in a special, limited edition and is available exclusively through Leica Galleries.

Wetzlar, 13th January 2022. Over the past ten years, Leica Camera AG has honoured twelve renowned photographers for their life's work, by inducting them into the Leica Hall of Fame. A Leica Picture of the Year has now been designated for the first time, with the aim of sharing this success with all Leica enthusiasts.  In the future, further Leica Hall of Fame photographers honourees will also be producing a Leica Picture of the Year. These limited editions will be exclusively available at the 25 Leica Galleries worldwide – a collaboration which will offer collectors and Leica friends the perfect opportunity to build up a unique collection of works by great Leica photographers.

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. The colour photograph by the New York-based artist was taken a couple of months ago on Long Island, and is unpublished, to date.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 colour. 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.

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.

On November 4, 2021, Leica Camera AG honoured Ralph Gibson in Wetzlar with the Leica Hall of Fame Award. The accompanying exhibition, where his Leica Picture of the Year will also be presented, will run until the end of February at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar.

The Leica Picture of the Year 2021:
Ralph Gibson, Untitled, 2021
Fine art print
8.18 x 12.28 inch (20.8 x 31.2 cm)
Signed on the front
Edition: 75 copies
Presented in a special box with a certificate of authenticity and special edition numbering
Price: € 1.800 / $ 2.000
Available as of 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,” Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director and General Representative of Leica Galleries International, says with delight. “With this print, we and all the Leica Galleries are honouring a great photographer, who has created an unforgettable oeuvre in over sixty years of prosperous loyalty to the Leica brand.”

Leica Hall of Fame

Leica Pictures that touch the world; moments that remain unforgettable: since 2011, Leica Camera AG has been inducting outstanding photographers into the Leica Hall of Fame – photographers whose view of the world has moved something, has changed something. Iconic images testify to their creativity and have found a place in our collective memory, through their touching and timeless visualisations of the conditio humana. The 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. Last year, it was Ralph Gibson who was inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame.

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Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.