The Lucie Awards is an annual event honoring achievements in photography. The photography community pay tribute to outstanding photography achievements at the Gala Awards ceremony at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.
This year, the ceremony took place on October 29, 2017. And the 2017 honorees are the following photographers:
Lifetime Achievement: Art Shay (Born in the Bronx, New York, in 1922).
Achievement in Fine Art: Abelardo Morell (Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1948).
Achievement in Photojournalism: Steve Schapiro (Born in New York in 1934).
Achievement in Fashion: Dominique Issermann (Born in Paris in 1947).
Achievement in Documentary: Larry Fink (Born in Brooklyn in 1941).
Achievement in Portraiture: Judith Joy Ross (Born 1946 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania).
Humanitarian Award: Josephine Herrick Project (nonprofit).
On this occasion, Eliane Laffont, former founder of the agency Gamma US Press office, introduced Dominique Isserman’s Award with the following speech:
Good evening. It is my great pleasure and a distinct honor to introduce my friend and personal heroine… Dominique Issermann.
I will try very hard this evening not to sound too much like a gushing Dominique Issermann fan. As many of you know, my style generally tends more toward criticism. It’s kind of my sweet spot, but as you will see, I am a Dominique Issermann groupie and I suppose I will have to embrace that.
When I talk about Dominique Issermann and her work, it is difficult for me not to employ an overly long string of fawning superlatives. Dominique’s work is breathtakingly brilliant. Her use of light and shadow is sublime. Her composition is stark yet startling. Her portraiture reveals a deep understanding of her subjects. Her photographs are simultaneously poetic and piercing. Some of her images are now landmarks of our world of contemporary photography.
I first met Dominique Issermann in Lisbon in 1974 during the so-called “Carnation Revolution“ that peacefully deposed a four-decade-long dictatorship in Portugal. At the time, photojournalism was an overwhelmingly male profession. And I was actively searching for talented female photographers to work with me at Sygma. At twenty-three, Dominique was a very likely candidate. Not only were her news photos eloquent, but her striking presence and grasp of complex political situations were clearly evident. She could have been an outstanding photojournalist but the photography gods, in their infinite wisdom, steered Dominique Issermann toward another world, her own world, where she would go on, over the course of nearly half a century to create a dreamscape of beauty, mystery and refinement.
Dominique went on to photographing personalities, models, movie stars and musicians. Those portraits… of Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, Marguerite Duras, Bob Dylan and, of course, Leonard Cohen, to name a few, have a purity and poetry that confer an iconic larger-than-life immortality on her subjects. Her photos are as beautiful as Isabelle Adjani, as eternal as Catherine Deneuve, as powerful as Marguerite Duras, as immortal as Bob Dylan, and as poetic as Leonard Cohen.
Next Dominique took on the fashion world, working for Dior, Gauthier, Chanel, and Lagerfeld. There it became even clearer that her talent was sprawling, immense and eloquent. Simply stated, Dominique’s sumptuous black and white work… subtle and mysterious, yet brilliantly simple…redefined beauty in an otherwise vulgar age and made a religion of purity, refinement and class. Paradoxically, unaffected by fashion, she became the creator, artist, and the star of the fashion world.
French, so French… Dominique, in short, is a French national treasure whose life’s work insures her a place in the pantheon of photography. For more than four decades, she has set the bar in fashion photography and portraiture. Even her landscapes are unforgettable…Tonight I stand in awe of what she did become.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s see some of Dominique’s iconic work now.