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Outstanding contribution to photography 2020 announced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The World Photography Organisation is delighted to announce printer and publisher Gerhard Steidl as the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography 2020 at the Sony World Photography Awards. This is the first time in the Awards’ history that the Outstanding Contribution to Photography will be presented to someone other than a photographer. Steidl will be honoured at the Awards’ ceremony in London on 16 April for his work with photographers and the significant impact of his photobooks.

To celebrate his achievements, a presentation of Steidl’s bookmaking process and approximately 80 of his most acclaimed publications will go on display as part of the Sony World Photography Awards 2020 exhibition at London’s iconic Somerset House. Titled One Love, One Book: Steidl Book Culture. The Photobook as Multiple, will frame the photobook in the tradition of artists’ multiples, in which a series of identical objects made or commissioned by an artist is priced affordably for the wider public to access.

Further developing the idea of the democratic art object, Gerhard Steidl has conceived the exhibition as a means to communicate his vision and expertise for others to follow. The exhibition space will be set up as a visual workshop divided into four sections: Artist, Concept, Design and Print. Each object on display will be accompanied by a detailed commentary and will offer visitors insights into Steidl’s book culture and step-by-step guidance to his bookmaking craft; starting with initial correspondence with the artist and editorial deliberations, to examples of various technical elements such as fonts, paper and binding materials.

Highlights will include The Japanese Box (2001): published under the Steidl imprint Edition 7L, a collaboration between Karl Lagerfeld and Gerhard Steidl. Another Edition 7L publication on display will be Andy Warhol’s Interview: The Crystal Ball of Pop Culture (2004). In addition to noted publications, Steidl will showcase photographs from a selection of artists with whom he has cultivated long-standing relationships. These include brand-new images from Nobel-Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk’s upcoming photography title Orange (2020), artist Dayanita Singh’s Museum Bhavan (2017), photographs from Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura’s book Vanished Spain (2016) and original silver gelatin prints from Ed Ruscha’s On the Road (2009).

Talking about his award, Gerhard Steidl comments: "I’m honoured to be the Outstanding Contribution to Photography 2020 recipient. As a printer and publisher, one of the things I love most about photobooks is that they’re a democratic medium; they bring photography to a wider audience. In this spirit I’m particularly excited about creating the exhibition One Love, One Book: Steidl Book Culture. The Photobook as Multiple at Somerset House. It’s a chance to show some of our most ambitious books, share some bookmaking secrets, and hopefully to inspire the next generation of bookmakers."

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