Photographer reframing black experience wins Deutsche Börse award

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The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation has just announced its 2022 winner. The prestigious award honors artists and projects that have made a significant contribution to international photography over the past 12 months with a grand prize of £30,000 ($36,800 ) to win.

This year, first place was awarded to American photographer Deana Lawson for her solo exhibition “Entropy” at Kunsthalle Basel which ran from June 9 to October 11, 2020. Lawson’s distinctive and provocative approach to photography reframes and reclaims the black experience while exploring intergenerational relationships, their effect on black culture, and the space occupied by communities and individuals.

While most of his work focuses on strangers chosen specifically for the image, Lawson manages to create intimate portraits that have a sense of familiarity between the characters that Lawson describes as a mythological extended family. Although her work sometimes contains natural phenomena such as waterfalls and galaxies, she is often found photographing in domestic settings. Using disturbing elements that act as “portals” to other worlds, she is able to depict scenes of death and birth.

Installation image by Deana Lawson, winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022, at the Photographers’ Gallery, London (Image credit: Deana Lawson – Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation 2022)

Brett Rogers OBE, Director of The photographers gallery and Jury President said, “Deana Lawson is a deserved recipient of this year’s award, not least for the sheer inventiveness and complexity of her approach to image making. He continues: “Its subject matter is somewhere between ‘here and now’ and the past, a person and a people, the stagecraft and the naturalist, in a way that is neither didactic nor problem-oriented, but truly radical”

This year’s jury included Yto Barrada, an artist living between New York and Morocco, Jessica Dimson, Deputy Director of Photography for the New York Times, Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, Anne-Marie Beckman , director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and president of the jury Brett Rogers OBE.

Lawson’s work will be featured in an exhibition taking place at the Photographers Gallery in London until June 12 alongside finalists Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe and Gilles Peress and from June 30 the exhibition will be on view at Deutsche Borse headquarters in Eschborn/Frankfurt.

Installation image by Deana Lawson, winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022, at the Photographers’ Gallery, London (Image credit: Deana Lawson – Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation 2022)

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