Beginning 14 February, Hauser & Wirth will present ‘Annie Leibovitz. The Early Years, 1970 – 1983: Archive Project No. 1,’ a new installation of the 2017 exhibition of the same title presented by the LUMA Foundation’s Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France. As the first comprehensive exhibition in Los Angeles devoted to the earliest work of this renowned American artist, ‘The Early Years’ features more than 4,000 photographs taken between 1970 and 1983. Works on view trace Leibovitz’s development as a young talent, capturing the dramatic cultural and political shifts of the Seventies. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the exhibition begins with her work for Rolling Stone magazine and visually chronicles the defining moments and key protagonists of the decade. Over the course of her career, Leibovitz became an avatar of the changing cultural role of photography as an artistic medium. Pinned to walls gridded with string, the images on view reveal her singular ability to merge the tactics of portraiture and photojournalism with profound humanism and sly wit. The exhibition also includes Leibovitz’s photographs of artists who became her personal heroes – Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, among others.
Curated by Leibovitz, ‘The Early Years’ can be seen as an excavation of self. The artist personally selected what she believes to be the most significant images taken during the an especially formative period in her career – an array of images and subjects that reveal her internal dialogue, motivations, and insights. The exhibition will be complemented by an artist book published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers titled ‘Archive Project No. 1,’ which Leibovitz conceived as a reference tool that expresses her working method and the obsessiveness of taking photographs – an immersive and tactile experience of her accumulated history.
Photography: Mike Zwahlen for Elusive Magazine