Masters of Photography: The Leica Gallery in Hall 1 at photokina 2016 presents a varied exhibition and stage programme

As ‘Official Photography Partner of photokina 2016’, Leica Camera AG will be presenting the impressive ‘Masters of Photography’ exhibition in an almost 2,000 square metre Leica Gallery in Hall 1 of the fair with a total of 15 series of pictures and more than 400 photographs by acclaimed Leica S, SL, and M photographers. In addition to this, Leica Camera AG will be presenting the exhibition with the title ‘Upcoming Masters’ in a separate section of the gallery – this exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Leica, the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh – the German Photographic Society) and the Photoindustrie-Verband (PIV – The Imaging Association). In more detail, the ‘Masters of Photography’ exhibition will be featuring the work of the following Leica photographers:

Alex Webb: Selections. Street photography in colour

Magnum photographer Alex Webb presents a personal selection of his most important works from the past 40 years. He started taking colour photos in countries where, as he says, ‘intensive colour seems in some way to be rooted in the very culture’, an aspect that continues to characterise his photos today. 

Ara Güler: The Leica Hall of Fame Award

During his long career, Ara Güler amassed an impressive gallery of portraits of major artists and prominent figures of contemporary life. Yet his personal focus remained set on Istanbul, the photographer’s home. In his own unique way, Ara Güler documented not only the vibrant street life and hustle and bustle of the big city in the 1950s, but also the hidden, everyday lives of the people of the metropolis on the Bosporus. Ara Güler is one of the few photographers to have been honoured with the prestigious Leica Hall of Fame Award.

Bruce Gilden: American Made

Bruce Gilden, best known for his tough and in-your-face style of street photography, has radicalised his familiar standards once again with his latest, much-debated project ‘Faces’. The subjects of his series are people who have been left behind by life and society. In his large-format portraits, Gilden captures the raw and downright brutal presence of his subjects in a way that grabs the viewer and refuses to let go.

Ellen von Unwerth: Wild, Wild West

She is one of the most influential contemporary photographers. For S Magazin No. 8, Ellen von Unwerth created a unique series without the usual constraints of her commercial clients, but packed with typical moments of her vital and vibrant photography. The refreshingly unconventional visual universes of the photographer live from their own special mixture of humour, barefaced cheek, frivolity and playfulness.

York Hovest: 100 days in the Amazon rainforest

York Hovest spent 100 days in Amazon region. Hardly any other region on the planet possesses such a rich diversity of flora and fauna as the South America rainforest – or faces such an imminent threat of destruction. The series captured by Hovest presents the best of the overwhelming impressions he brought back from his 100-day journey.

Jakob de Boer: Der Ursprung des Kaffees (The origin of coffee)

Last year, Canadian photographer Jakob de Boer succumbed to his fascination with the origins of coffee and travelled to Tanzania. The passionate coffee-drinker made his way to Songwa Estates coffee plantation, around 600 kilometres from Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma, to document the production of coffee. His photographic project was sponsored by La Marzocco, the long-established and celebrated manufacturer of espresso machines from Florence, Italy, which is a partner in the non-profit organisation Songwa Estates Ltd. ( A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of his photos will be donated to the community in the vicinity of the Songwa Estates, where it is invested in education and the social and vocational integration of the small African community.

Per-Anders Pettersson: African Catwalk

Colourful, confident, and brimming with diversity and creative ideas: This is how the Swedish photographer presents Africa’s vibrant fashion scene in his latest project. Between 2010 and 2015, he visited fifteen different countries to document the world of fashion on the catwalks and, above all, what goes on behind the scenes.

Patrick Zachmann: So Long, China, 1982-2015

The French Magnum photographer travelled throughout China for more than 30 years, a country he first discovered his love for in 1982. On his travels, he visited numerous different regions and provinces of the country and documented various perspectives of the rapid processes of political and social change in China in his images. In his pictures, Zachmann depicts everyday lives in the remotest provinces as well as in mega-cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Jens Umbach: Afghanistan

Jens Umbach has been working in Afghanistan since 2010, where he initially portrayed soldiers of the German army serving in the war-torn region. Following the official end of the German military mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, only a small contingent of German soldiers remained stationed at a base in Northern Afghanistan. For his book, ‘The Afghans’, the photographer travelled the region around their base and brought back around 150 shots captured over a period of fifteen days.

Roger Ballen: Outlands and new works

Roger Ballen’s work may be considered to be among the most unusual and radical contributions to contemporary photography. In his black-and-white images, Ballen portrays outsiders and their desolate existence at the fringes of society. They are pictures of a darker side of life. Nevertheless, empathy, humour and irony often go hand-in-hand with the shocking, frightening and nightmarish realities portrayed in his work.

Helge Kirchberger / Christian Steinwender: Grenzen (Limits)

In his project ‘Grenzen’ (Limits), a collaboration with graphic artist Christian Steinwender, Helge Kirchberger projected portraits of celebrities on clouds and captured the moment of their dispersal in photographs. As neither the behaviour of the clouds, nor the process or results could be predicted or controlled by the two artists, the project took Kirchberger and Steinwender not only to the limits (Grenzen) of photography, but also their own. The outcome? Impressive images from the frontiers of perception.

Fred Mortagne: Cruis’n Elements

Fred Mortagne is a singular phenomenon in the genre of skateboard photography. While, the majority of sport photographers focus on athletic performance and the most spectacular tricks, Mortagne creates his own unique aesthetic solely through his predominant use of black-and-white. In this, he stages the perfectly accomplished skateboard tricks against a dramatically composed, architectural backdrop. The converging lines of the architecture fuse with the motion of the skateboarder in flight to create the impression that both are natural elements of their urban biotope.

Kurt Hutton: Von Straßburg nach London – von Hübschmann zu Hutton
(From Strasbourg to London – from Hübschmann to Hutton)

As a chronicler and sensitive portraitist, Kurt Hutton (1893–1960), born Kurt Hübschmann in Strasbourg, Alsace (then Germany), is considered by many to be one of the most influential pioneers of photojournalism in England. Although he and his wife had opened a portrait studio in Berlin in 1921, he began to work increasingly as a reportage photographer. In the Leica, he discovered the flexibility and mobility he needed for his own, personal style of photography. After migrating to England in 1934, he worked for Weekly Illustrated and became one of the first staff photographers of the weekly pictorial magazine Picture Post. More than 900 of his picture stories had been published in Picture Post by the time he retired in 1950.

JH Engström: Tout Va Bien / Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2015

The winning set of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2015, ‘Tout Va Bien’, by JH Engström, comprises a total of 90 photographs of widely varying subjects ranging from portraits and landscapes to bizarre snapshots in colour and black-and-white. Engström collects impressions that reflect his emotions in all imaginable styles. In doing this, he detaches himself from concrete themes and allows viewers to interpret his images at their own discretion.

Wiktoria Wojciechowska: Short Flashes / Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2015

It was typhoon season in China as Wiktoria Wojciechowska spent several months as artist in residence in the city of Hangzhou in 2013/2014. This did not prevent the young photographer from wandering through the city with her camera for several months to capture her portraits of anonymous moped riders and cyclists at the moment they zipped past her, battling against the torrential rain with their brightly coloured rain capes flapping in the wind.

In addition to these 15 individual exhibitions, visitors to the Leica Gallery in Hall 1 can also look forward to an entertainingly diverse stage programme.

The Leica Gallery in Hall 1 and the gallery coffee bar, provided with the kind assistance of La Marzocco’s True Artisan Café, in collaboration with the local coffee roasting community will be open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all days of the fair.

Press release - Leica exhibition Masters of Photography at photokina 2016

Date: 08/2016 Format: PDF (96.86 kB)
Leica Camera

Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.