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LUMA Foundation exhibits photographs by Annie Leibovitz
French President Emmanuel Macron looks at an exhibition of photographs by US photographer Annie Leibovitz during a visit to the LUMA Arles Foundation in Arles on July 19, 2017. LUMA Arles is a new experimental contemporary art center that brings together artists, researchers, and creators from every field to collaborate on multi-disciplinary works and exhibitions. JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER / POOL / AFP.

ARLES.- Over the past six years, the LUMA Foundation has nurtured a series of ongoing collaborations with several artists, resulting in a Living Archive Program that integrates diverse forms of artistic production, including photography, design, literature, film, and dance, and makes these resources available to students, scholars, artists, and visitors.

In anticipation of the completion of the building that will house this dynamic program, the LUMA Foundation announced the acquisition and inaugural exhibition of the archives of legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949), who has created iconic portraits for nearly 50 years. Intended as the first of several major projects dedicated to the study and reinterpretation of the artist’s living archives, Annie Leibovitz - The Early Years: 1970 - 1983. Archive Project #1 consists of over 8,000 photographs taken between 1968 and 1983, traces her development as a young artist, and follows her successes in the 1970s as she documented the culture that defined this pivotal era.

The exhibition opens with Leibovitz’s first photographs, taken in 1968. Enrolled at the time at the San Francisco Art Institute as a painting major, Leibovitz soon transitioned into the school’s legendary photography department and within a year had published her first pictures—a series of reportage-like images of Vietnam War protests—in the recently founded magazine Rolling Stone. Reflecting the influence of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, Leibovitz’s instinctual approach to photojournalism and portraiture informed her early photographs of John Lennon and the Rolling Stones as well as her coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign with Hunter S. Thompson and the Apollo 17 space launch with Tom Wolfe.

Named Rolling Stone’s Chief Photographer in 1973, Leibovitz created some of the most memorable images of the decade—often featured as cover images of the increasingly influential bi-monthly magazine—while documenting President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974 and immersing herself in an extended tour with the Rolling Stones in 1975. Characterized by her intuitive sense of timing and perspective, her distinctive images also reflect the psychological proximity she achieved with her diverse subjects—a register of intimacy apparent in her 1980 portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, taken just hours before Lennon was assassinated in New York City.

Organized by Matthieu Humery, Director of the LUMA Foundation’s Living Archive Program, in collaboration with Annie Leibovitz, The Early Years: 1970 - 1983. Archive Project #1 is part of this year’s summer season of exhibitions and cultural programming at LUMA Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Arles (France). The exhibition is the first in a series of interdisciplinary experimental initiatives currently being developed by the foundation in connection with the idea of the "living archive," which convenes in Arles the bodies of work of a number of major artists and cultural practitioners from different fields.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue produced by Taschen in collaboration with the LUMA Foundation.

This exhibition is part of the international photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles 2017.

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