Pictet ‘Growth’ Shortlist

You can see the shortlist for the valuable Prix Pictet which was announced today in Paris, where a preview of the work will open at the Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire on Sunday – and I hope to drop in and see it when I’m in Paris next week. The prizewinner won’t be announced until March, so there is plenty of time to place your bets.

In alphabetical order,a the runners are Christian Als, Edward Burtynsky, Stéphane Couturier, Mitch Epstein, Chris Jordan, Yeondoo Jung, Vera Lutter, Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, Taryn Simon, Thomas Struth, Guy Tillim and Michael Wolf, and you can see their work that is in for the prize on the Pictet web site.

What is unusual for a photographic prize these days is that there are some pretty decent pictures among the lot, and seven or eight photographers whose work I might well have chosen myself. There are a couple I find ‘arty’ in a sense that would have been fresh in the 1930s, but now I just find pretentious garbage, and a couple that do things that I’ve seen rather better done by others (and in one case seems hardly worth doing), but it is good to see so much good photography up for a prize like this – though it remains to be seen what will win.

I probably shouldn’t condemn any of them to oblivion by naming them as my favourite for the prize, and in any case I think it should receive rather though more than my quick first impression. Particularly because it isn’t just a matter of a single image, but really of a set of pictures, and that does need more consideration. But Mitch Epstein has long been one of my favourite contemporary photographers, Guy Tillim’s work I always find of interest and the show by Taryn Simon was one of the best in recent years at the Photographers’ Gallery. The only work that really appeals that was new to me was by Nyaba Ouedraogo. So probably those four are now the outsiders in the race!

I hope I’ve more or less got everything sorted for my Paris trip now, and certainly I’ll be writing about it here. Unfortunately I’ve been having some problems with getting my notebook to connect to the Internet, so I may not be able to post until I return home and there may be a few days without posts on the blog. In any case I tend to be too busy and get too tired (and sometimes emotional)  to comment while I’m there.

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