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Annie Leibovitz, the early years, 1970–1983, at the LUMA Foundation


It was Friday, May 2. The clock had just struck seven in the great Hall of the Ateliers d’Arles. It was the opening of the first exhibition of Annie Leibovitz’s archives, recently acquired by Maja Hoffmann’s LUMA Foundation. The exhibition is wonderful, and will go down in history among landmark exhibitions for its creativity, originality, and wealth of material: several hundreds images are on display in over a dozen rooms covering nearly one thousand square meters. This is a journey of initiation that retraces Annie’s early years at Rolling Stone. In a nutshell, this is the history of the mythical magazine, of a genius of journalism, its founder, Jann Weiner, and of a young woman passionate about photography who would become one of the key witnesses to her era. Across the different exhibition rooms, through the images and years unfolding before our eyes, we discover the extraordinary complicity and intimacy that develop between Annie and her subjects—who are no less than legendary idols of the seventies. And then, in the last room, a transformation takes place: Annie is no longer just a witness—she becomes an interpreter; black and white is replaced by color; and 24/36 gives way to the square format. Annie begins a new chapter, quits Rolling Stone, and joins Vanity Fair!

To be continued… next year in the same place.

Jean-Jacques Naudet


Annie Leibovitz, Les premières années 1970–1983. Archive Project #1
May 27 mai to September 24, 2017
33 Chemin des Minimes
13200 Arles

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