Joel Meyerowitz To Receive Leica Hall Of Fame Award

Joel Meyerowitz
Wyoming, 1964.

Acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz has received the Leica Hall of Fame Award. Known for his authentic, groundbreaking American street and color photography, Meyerowitz began photographing in 1962, finding early inspiration in the works of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The photographer would shortly turn to color photography, and his work would be influential in gaining acceptance for the medium.

Meyerowitz’s photography will be showcased in a major exhibition at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar in Germany, “A Celebration of Photography,” running from January 19 through March 31, 2017.

See our interview with Joel Meyerowitz, “Master Of Many Colors.”

To learn more, check out the full press release below:

Joel Meyerowitz Receives the Leica Hall of Fame Award

Leica Camera honors and celebrates the lifework of the outstanding photographer with the Leica Hall of Fame Award and exhibition at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar

January 17, 2017 – Leica Camera announces today that it is honoring acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz with the Leica Hall of Fame Award for his incredible life’s work.  A major exhibition at Leica Gallery Wetzlar during the ‘A Celebration of Photography’ event will further showcase his photography starting on January 19th until March 31, 2017.

“Joel Meyerowitz is one of the most important protagonists and co-founders of street and color photography,” says Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director and Director General of Leica Galleries International. “His eye for the situation, dynamic and driven by curiosity, his unmistakeable style, his instinct for capturing the magic of everyday life and its special moments led to the creation of some of the most exceptional images in the history of photography. With the Leica Hall of Fame Award, we would like to honor his outstanding work as a photographer and his unique photographic signature. At the same time, we would like to express our particular appreciation of a rather special and sensitive person.”

Meyerowitz was born in New York in 1938.  He grew up in the Bronx while studying painting and then spent a brief time working as an advertising art director thereafter.  It was in the course of his work there where Meyerowitz encountered Robert Frank.  Fascinated by Frank’s work, Meyerowitz began shooting on 35mm color film in 1962 and decided to dedicate his life to street photography. In the following year, he alternated this with black-and-white before returning to the richness of storytelling in color.

In the following years, he captured life on the streets of New York. Here, he found the electrifying stage for his precise observation of people and life in the big city. He refined the methods he learned during an extended trip through many European countries in 1966 and 1967. “When I hold the camera in my hands, I often think it’s a kind of divining rod. It guides me. I always feel that if you carry a camera, you have a licence to see,” shared Meyerowitz.

New York always remained the dominant focus of his life as a photographer – from his early works in the 1960s to his evocative images taken at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. Meyerowitz lives and works in New York and Tuscany.

Leica Camera honors him today as one of the most prominent representatives of American street and color photography.  His eye for capturing surprising, and often bizarre, moments of everyday life has distinguished Meyerowitz from his contemporaries. His subjects, identified and captured in fractions of a second, appear to be painstakingly arranged compositions.

The exhibition in his honor can be seen in the Leica Gallery Wetzlar from January 19 to March 31, 2017. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Leica Hall of Fame Award

The Leica Hall of Fame Award, first awarded in 2011, shares the tradition of earlier awards instituted by Leica Camera and honors exceptional photographers for their particular contributions to the photographic genre or invaluable services to the Leica brand. Previous winners of this prestigious award are the Magnum photographer Steve McCurry, Barbara Klemm, for many years editorial photographer at the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’, and Nick Út, for his momentous documentation of contemporary history in his images of the Vietnam war. Other prominent photographers honored with the Leica Hall of Fame Award are René Burri († 2014), famous for his emotive images captured before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Thomas Hoepker, who documented people and events of contemporary history with his Leica M and decisively influenced the genre of reportage photography in the second half of the 20th century. Last year, the Leica Hall of Fame Award honored Ara Güler, arguably Turkey’s most eminent photographer, who impressively portrayed life in the city of Istanbul, his birthplace and home, for over 60 years, and is world famous for his incomparable black-and-white images of the metropolis on the shores of the Bosporus from the 1950s and 1960s.

About Leica Camera

Passion for creating perfect pictures. Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere captured with them. For more information about Leica visit www.leicacamerausa.com, or follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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