It’s high time WOMEN had an update, really, given everything that’s happened in the last 15 years with regard to roles, expectations and the voice of feminism across the world. And happily, Annie Leibovitz is finally now on the case, thanks to a new collection of photographs commissioned by UBS that will act both as an evolution of the famous WOMEN series of portraits that Leibovitz started with Susan Sontag in 1999, and also reflect the changing roles of women today.
The new photographs are destined to form part of the UBS Art Collection (a corporate collection of contemporary art that to date comprises more than 30,000 works) but only after they have toured the world. After kicking off at London’s Wapping Hydraulic Power Station (formerly the site of The Wapping Project) on 16 January, an exhibition of the portraits will visit ten international cities, from Frankfurt to Tokyo, over the course of 2016.
Women is Leibovitz’s best known and arguably best loved series – with the first collection including portraits of Louis Bourgeois, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Gloria Steinem. Deciding on the subjects to best represent today’s spectrum of female role models can’t have been easy, but Leibovitz has this time turned her lens on Misty Copeland, Alice Waters, Serena and Venus Williams, Jane Goodall, and Amy Schumer. An image of the artist herself with her three daughters is the only image to have been unveiled thus far.
This exhibition will celebrate women affecting a positive change in the world, says Johan Jervøe, global chief marketing officer for UBS. 'Throughout her career Annie has captured the pulse and tenor of contemporary life, creating unique, personal and insightful portraits that have become her trademark,' he explains. 'We want to enable as many people as possible to see and respond to this thought-provoking series and to be inspired to fulfill their own creative practice.'