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    WOMEN: New Portraits Annie Leibovitz at Her Intimate, Perceptive Best

    BT 3.24 fix_Page_18_Image_0003Layer upon layer of lush, intimate meaning was evident at Tuesday’s press preview of WOMEN: New Portraits by Annie Leibovitz at The Presidio, which opens to the public tomorrow, March 25. In attendance was San Francisco Bay Times designer and photographer Abby Zimberg, who—like Leibovitz herself—comes from a family that includes talented professional artists. In Leibovitz’s case, her mother was a modern dance instructor, perhaps helping to explain the fluidity and revealing visual language of the images selected for the powerful exhibit, which was commissioned by the global financial services firm UBS.

    The new photographs included in the exhibit continue a project that began over fifteen years ago when Annie Leibovitz’s most enduringly popular series of images, Women, was published in 1999. The late great writer and essayist Susan Sontag, who was her lover and who collaborated with Leibovitz on the project, called it “a work in progress.” Sontag’s assessment proved to be correct. WOMEN: New Portraits has indeed evolved over the years, and continues to do so, reflecting the changing roles of women today. The timing could not be more perfect, given that it is Women’s History Month and that we are on the threshold of what we hope will be the first woman presidency in U.S. history.

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    The new portraits, unveiled in London in January and in Tokyo in February, feature women of outstanding achievement including artists, musicians, CEOs, politicians, writers and philanthropists. In addition to the new photographs, the exhibition includes works from the original series, as well as other unpublished photographs taken since.

    Annie Leibovitz, who was in San Francisco for the press event, said, “It is extraordinary to do this work for UBS on a subject that I really care about. It is such a big undertaking and a broad subject, it is like going out and photographing the ocean.”

    Sergio P. Ermotti, Group Chief Executive Officer, UBS, said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with Annie on this project, which celebrates women, their strength and their role in bringing about positive change in the world. She is the best in her field and the tour builds on our long-standing support of initiatives which help shape contemporary culture.”

    Aligned with the focus UBS places on education, a series of free learning programs will accompany the exhibition, presented in partnership with cultural organizations around the world. These initiatives will explore ways of seeing through photography, and working with young people in local schools and communities. In San Francisco, UBS will be closely partnering with the Presidio Trust to present family workshops and activities for the duration of the exhibition run. A Teachers’ Guide produced in partnership with the International Center of Photography in New York and a Children’s Activity Guide are available to teachers and the public on the exhibition website.

    UBS will also present a speakers’ program, “Women for Women,” through 2016. Launching in March in San Francisco, these events will accompany the exhibition tour, and will address topics of global relevance to women and women’s rights.

    About Annie Leibovitz

    Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949) has been making powerful images documenting popular culture since the early 1970s, when she began working as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone. She became the magazine’s chief photographer in 1973, and ten years later began working for Vanity Fair and then Vogue.

    Her large and distinguished body of work encompasses some of the best-known portraits of our time. Exhibitions of Leibovitz’s work have been shown at museums and galleries around the world, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the National Portrait Gallery in London; and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. We are truly honored to have her work now at our very own historic Presidio!

    Her work is held in museum collections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. to the National Portrait Gallery in London. She has published several collections of photographs and is the recipient of many honors. In 2006, she was made a ‘Commandeur’ in the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French government. In 2009, she received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the first Creative Excellence Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts and the Wexner Prize. In 2013 she received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. In 2015 she received SFMoMA’s Contemporary Vision Award. Last but certainly not least, she has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

    A set of the new photographs will enter the UBS Art Collection—one of the world’s most important corporate collections of contemporary art, comprising more than 30,000 works.

    WOMEN: New Portraits will be at The Presidio’s Crissy Field, 649 Old Mason Street, San Francisco, from March 25 through April 17, so be sure to see it soon. It is a rare, free chance to see several important and deeply meaningful works from one of the most talented and highly regarded members of our LGBT community. The viewing hours are as follows: Monday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm, and Friday until 8 pm.

    After leaving San Francisco, the exhibition will travel to Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Istanbul, Frankfurt, New York, and Zurich.

    Join the Conversation

    #WOMENxUBS by #AnnieLeibovitz @UBSglobalart @AnnieLeibovitz

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