Adele, Taylor Swift, Amy Schumer and Misty Copeland are just some of the influential women featured in an exhibition of work by American photographer Annie Leibovitz which opened in London this week.
‘Women: New Portraits’, which is being staged at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, celebrates the “outstanding achievements” of pop stars, CEOs, politicians and philanthropists.
“Men have been portrayed in art and photographs very, very well, and we understand how men look in art, “ said Leibovitz, 66. “ But with women, we haven’t developed that enough: who are we? I’m very interested in what women do and who we are, and it was a big surprise to see what we look like.”
The world-renowned photographer produced an exhibition of women she admired back in 1999. She said at the time that it was like “photographing the ocean” because it was a story that was “too big and never going to have an end.”
This latest exhibition, depicting how women’s roles have changed, is a continuation of that project and includes some photographs from the previous event. Included in the collection is one very recent image, the Vanity Fair cover photo of transgender Caitlyn Jenner, which Leibovitz said would never have been possible 15 years ago because Jenner was still living as a man.
Feminist activist Gloria Steinem is also featured in the exhibition. She added: “There have not been photographs of women that show them as whole human beings, so this is remedial. Each one is a novel: there’s a complete human story in every photograph.”
Leibovitz has photographed some of the world’s most famous names however at a press conference to launch her latest work she said she regretted that she had not been able to take the picture of “probably the most important woman in the world today”, German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The portraits for this latest exhibition were commissioned by UBS . The Swiss bank’s Group CEO Sergio P. Ermotti said the tour “celebrates women, their strength and their role in bringing about positive change in the world”.
‘Women: New Portraits’ by Annie Leibovitz is on display in London until February 7 and will then move to nine other cities across the world.