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Ilse Jurriën : February 7th 2006 - 19:55 CET

Leica Gallery celebrates 30th anniversary

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LeicaLeica Gallery celebrates 30th anniversary : Leica, creator of precision optical products for work and leisure, celebrates Leica Gallery's 30th anniversary in the year 2006. To commemorate this occasion, the exhibition program is again spanning the whole range of 35mm photography from fine-art to documentary with a total of twelve international photo exhibitions, one for every month of the year. The opening of the Leica Gallery in the year 1976 with an exhibition of Stern photographer Eberhard Seeliger marked the beginning of Leica culture projects. This was followed in 1979 by the first Leica Oskar Barnack competition and numerous other activities to do with photographic culture.
Leica Gallery celebrates 30th anniversaryLeica Gallery - Exhibition program
The Leica Gallery has been accommodated in the entrance hall of Leica Camera AG's factory in Oskar-Barnack-Strasse since 1988 and gives world-famous as well as young aspiring Leica photographers the chance to present outstanding achievements in an exhibition. The exhibition program in the anniversary year begins in January with a series of photos that won the internationally prestigious Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 2005. “Johannesburg Story“, the cycle of Guy Tillim that was awarded the first prize from over 400 entries from all over the world is the result of several months of investigative photography in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa's largest and economically most important city. This color documentary has earned the 43-year-old South African a great deal of attention and, on account of winning the significant award, several publications in large-circulation magazines in the meantime. Also on show in January are the fine-art photos of the young German photographer Linn Schröder entitled “Are You A Real Frog?“ which were given an honorable mention by the international jury of the competition. The February exhibition will feature the French photographer Isabeau de Rouffignac with her “Notes From India“. Working unobtrusively with her Leica M6, she has painted an intimate and extremely personal picture of the poor and starving in Calcutta in stark black and white contrast. The 32-year-old Italian photographer Lorenzo Castore has tackled a similar theme in his project “Paradiso“, which was distinguished with the Leica European Publishers Award for Photography 2005. Taken in Havanna and Mexico City, his color photos seem at first glance to show scenes of minor importance such as people drinking in bars, passers-by or backyards, dimly-lit streets and narrow hallways. By playing with light and color, however, he generates an intense atmosphere and mood, telling stories from the big cities. The prize-winning color photos will be on view in March.

Leica Gallery exhibition - War photography
The subject of the April exhibition by Cheryl Hatch is the role of the women soldiers in Eritrea who make up a third of the country's official army in some places and successfully support the cause of the female population. The American photographer has accompanied these women in their fight. The results of her work are shown in the black-and-white documentary “A Luta Continua (The fight goes on) – Women in Eritrea: Defenders of the national borders and fighters for their rights“. Marcelo Greco, born in Italy in1966, has lived in Brazil for many years and teaches at the Modern Art Museum in Sao Paulo. He is taken with the life in this metropolis, which he deliberately portrays with a lot of light but particularly with a lot of shade, i.e. black areas, in color photos. “Wild Silence“, the title of the May exhibition, conveys that the photographer has found great intimacy and peace in the big cities in spite of all the hustle and bustle. The Japanese photographer Kunihiko Katsumata is fascinated by unusual details which are to be found everywhere in Italy. Whether in the streets of the towns, public buildings and churches, what he captures in his pictures are always fragments of a whole. His photo series is called "Natura Morta" and can be seen in June.

Leica Gallery - Colorful photography
The color photos chosen for the July exhibition “Lightpaintings“ by Jürgen Wassmuth resemble filigree storms of light that are more impressionist than realistic in style. The outlines of the objects he has photographed such as the Flat Iron Building in New York or the Eiffel Tower in Paris can only be guessed at. Only when we take a closer look can we recognize things on the basis of our own experience and recollections. Real street photography can be seen in August in the work of the American photographer Rick Bajornas. The title “The Gotham Reports“ is deliberately reminiscent of the fictitious Batman series and gives the viewer scope to make his own interpretations. The black-and-white street scenes could have been taken in any city in the world - and, therefore, just as easily in the imaginary town of Gotham. The Venezuelan Victor Sira will be presenting his cycle “Latin American Fragments“ in September. Taking Caracas as an example, he shows the contradictory development of one of South America's large cities with its immense conflict between highly modern and decaying. The photographer becomes an amazed outsider who expresses his sentiments in his photos.

Leica Gallery exhibition - Adventure photographers
They still exist, the adventurers around the corner. The young French photographer Joan Petyt has discovered a disused circle line and made it the main figure in an intensely atmospheric photo series. The exhibition “Night Train - No Man's Land“ shows a piece of forgotten anarchy in the middle of the town - a place of tranquillity, an oasis of nothingness. And this is how the photographer has portrayed it in his fine-art color photos that will be exhibited in October - as a no man's land. “Polarization“, i.e. the tension of opposites and arctic cold, is the name the Japanese photographer Toshifumi Taniuchi (pseudonym Tony) has given to his cycle of color photos. He took these photos at a place he returned to after 20 years of absence: On Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. “I pointed my Leica MP in the direction of my memories“ he establishes. And he found that time has stood still. Nothing has changed. Neither the buildings, the people, the frosty wind nor the tremendous amount of snow. Tony will be showing this Hokkaido with its lights and shadows, with its snowy and inhospitable landscape, in November. English photographer Dominick Tyler has been drawn to an even colder region: to the Innu, a group of nomads in the north of Canada. These people were resettled from their home of Davis Inlet to the specially built town Natuashish, which many of them saw as a chance for a fresh start. Dominick Tyler visited the Innu in both their old and new home villages and captured the story of the small community. In the December exhibition, he will be showing the contrast between the beautiful, unspoilt nature and the difficult living conditions of the inhabitants. The Leica Gallery in Solms is open to visitors from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About Leica Camera AG
Leica Camera AG creates precision optical products for work and leisure. The superlative photographic results brought about by the precision optics and mechanics, the brilliant image in the slide projection or in nature as observed through binoculars or spotting scopes all bring enjoyment to their users. A sense of achievement arises when intense involvement with the products leads users to discover and perfect new capabilities and new ways of seeing, whether in photography or, using our binoculars and scopes, in the field of sports.

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