Continuing a path that began more than fifteen years ago with the publication of her iconic series Women, Annie Leibovitz celebrates women of outstanding achievement with WOMEN: New Portraits. Commissioned by UBS, the portraits herald the female CEOs, politicians, writers, philanthropists, and artists who continue to blaze a trail toward gender equality. Framed with the sensitive and impactful style that marks the legendary photographer’s work, the women tell a tale of our time.
Reflecting on the change from the original series, executed in collaboration with partner Susan Sontag, there is a shift in the new work, which focuses more heavily on what these women do rather than how they look. Leibovitz is going deeper, revealing their powerful, inner strength. “We were looking hard in 1999 for women C.E.O.s and women who ran companies—we shot Carly Fiorina,” the photographer recalls. “Now, it seems that there really are many more women in high positions. It seemed like issues were more in the forefront.”
The diversity of these accomplished women is striking—from Misty Copeland, the first African American prima ballerina in the history of the American Ballet Theater, to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. WOMEN: New Portraits is constantly evolving, with Leibovitz adding imagery as the exhibit moves along a 10-city, international tour. The exhibit mixes photographs from the new and old series, as well as previously unseen work. It seems only fitting that the New York exhibition, the ninth stop on the tour, should take place at the former Bayview Correctional Facility. Previously a women’s prison, the space is being transformed into The Women’s Building, a hub for the girls’ and women’s rights movement set to open in 2020.
WOMEN: New Portraits is on view in New York until December 11, 2016. Entry is free of charge. The exhibition will then move to Zurich, the final stop on the tour, with an opening planned for January 28, 2017 at ewz-Unterwerk Selnau.
Annie Leibovitz: Facebook
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by UBS.