2017 Winners of the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards

Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 edition of the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation by Mathieu Asselin (Verlag Kettler) is the winner of $10,000 in the First PhotoBook category. The selection for Photography Catalogue of the Year is New Realities: Photography in the 19th Century by Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom (Rijiksmuseum/nai010). Museum Bhavan by Dayanita Singh (Steidl) is the winner of PhotoBook of the Year. A Jurors’ Special Mention is also given to La Grieta (The Crack) by Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril (Astiberri Ediciones). 

A final jury at Paris Photo selected this year’s winner. The jury included: Florencia Giordana Braun, director and founder of Rolf Art gallery, Buenos Aires; Krzysztof Candrowicz, the artistic director of the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg; Mitch Epstein, New York-based, award-winning photographer whose most recent book, Rocks and Clouds, will be published by Steidl this fall; Nathalie Herschdorfer, director of Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland; and Cristiano Raimondi, head of development and international projects at the New National Museum of Monaco and an invited curator for Platform 2017.

Regarding the jury’s selection this year, Mitch Epstein said, “Our jury choices speak to the pluralism of the medium; photography continues to be a vital language in the art, science, and documentary worlds.” Krzysztof Candrowicz added, “What I see in all the books points to a change in traditional thinking about the photobook, blurring the boundaries and expanding the scope of what a photobook can be.”

Cristiano Raimondi remarked on the First PhotoBook winner, Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation, “Asselin’s Monsanto is a courageous, investigative project that connects evidence-driven photography and visual research to the democratization of knowledge; it’s important that this book exists in physical form, as a document, and not just in the virtual world.” 

“Dayanita Singh has extended the concept of what a book might be with Museum Bhavan: a book of books,” said Mitch Epstein on the PhotoBook of the Year. “Her work is a sophisticated merger of Eastern and Western sensibilities, and celebrates the democratic possibilities of the offset multiple.”

On the winner of the Photography Catalogue of the Year, Natalie Hershdorker said, “New Realities takes what might be considered ‘dusty’ material of the nineteenth century and brings new perspectives and fresh design to enliven this classical material. It’s an important example of how to preserve and capture new interest in the history of photography.”

About the 2017 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 

First PhotoBook: A $10,000 prize is awarded to the photographer(s)/artist(s) whose first finished, publicly available photobook is judged to be the best of the year. Twenty books from this category were selected for the Shortlist, were presented to the jury for the final selection, and are being exhibited during Paris Photo.

PhotoBook of the Year: This prize is awarded to the photographer(s)/artist(s) and publisher responsible for the photobook judged to be the best of the year. Ten books from this category were selected for the Shortlist, were presented to the jury for the final selection, and are being exhibited during Paris Photo.

Photography Catalogue of the Year: This prize is awarded to the publication, publisher, and/or organizing institution responsible for the exhibition catalogue or museum publication judged to be the best of the year. Five books from this category were selected for the Shortlist, were presented to the jury for the final selection, and are being exhibited during Paris Photo.

This year’s Shortlist selection was made by a jury comprising Gregory Halpern, winner of the 2016 PhotoBook of the Year Award; Lesley A. Martin, creative director of the Aperture Foundation book program and publisher of The PhotoBook Review; Kathy Ryan, director of photography, New York Times Magazine; Joel Smith, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Morgan Library & Museum; and Christoph Wiesner, artistic director, Paris Photo. The Shortlist was first announced at the New York Art Book Fair, on September 22, 2017. The thirty-five selected photobooks are profiled in The PhotoBook Review, issue 013. 

Initiated in November 2012 by Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards celebrate the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography, with three major categories: First PhotoBook, PhotoBook of the Year, and Photography Catalogue of the Year. Since the announcement of the 2016 winners last November, last year’s shortlisted titles have been exhibited in six venues internationally, including at Ivorypress, Madrid; Duesseldorf Photo Weekend, Germany; The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow; and Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland.

Following Paris Photo, the exhibition of the 2017 Shortlist will travel to 6 pt Book Design Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania; Duesseldorf Photo Weekend, Germany; Month of Photography Los Angeles, Venice Arts, Venice, California; Photobookfest 2018, Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow; Triennial of Photography, Hamburg, Germany; Photo Basel, Switzerland; Cortona on the Move, Italy; and Medium Festival of Photography, San Deigo, California, among other venues.

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