Gilles Peress Biography

Gilles Peress: Biography

portrait Born December 29, 1946, France. Institut d'Etudes Politiques, 1966-1968, and Universite de Vincennes, 1968-1971. Joined Magnum Photos as an associate in 1972, became a member in 1974. Vice President 1984-85; President 1986-87, 1989-90. Represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

Awards, Grants & Fellowships
Exhibitions | Collections
Books | Video/Film

Gilles Peress is the recipient of many awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, La Fondation de France, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He also received the W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography.

Peress began working as a photographer in 1970, embarking on an intimate portrayal of life in a French coal mining village as it emerged from the ashes of a debilitating labor dispute. He then joined Magnum Photos, the prestigious photography agency founded by Robert Capa.

Peress soon traveled to Northern Ireland to begin an ongoing 20-year project about the Irish civil rights struggle. "Power in the Blood," a book that synthesizes his years of work in Northern Ireland, is the first part of his ongoing project called "Hate Thy Brother," a cycle of documentary stories that describe intolerance and the re-emergence of nationalism in the postwar years. "Farewell to Bosnia" was the first part of this cycle, and "The Silence," a book about the genocide in Rwanda, was the second.

In 1979 Peress traveled to Iran in the midst of a revolution. His highly regarded book, "Telex Iran: In the Name of Revolution," is about the fragile relationship between American and Iranian cultures during the hostage crisis.

Peress has also completed other major projects, including a photographic study of the lives of Turkish immigrant workers in Germany, and a recent examination of the contemporary legacy of the Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships

1996 International Center of Photography Infinity Award

1995 Erich Solomon Prize
Camera Works Grant

1994 International Center of Photography Infinity Award

1993 La Fondation de France Fellowship

1992 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

1992-93 Guggenheim Fellowship

1990 Art Matters Grant

1989 Ernst Haas Award
Art Director's Club Award

1986 Gahan Fellowship, Harvard University

1984 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography

1983 Fondation Nationale pour la Photographie Grant
Imogen Cunningham Award

1981 Prix de la Critique Couleur
Prix du Premier Livre/Ville de Paris/Fondation Kodak Pathe
Overseas Press Club Award
Art Director's Club Award
American Institute of Graphic Arts Award

1979 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

Selected One-Person and Group Exhibitions

1996 Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

1995 Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Farewell to Bosnia: Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan

1994 Farewell to Bosnia: The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; P.S. 1, New York; Rhode Island College Art Center; New Langton Arts, San Francisco; Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Nimes, France; the Dutch Institute of Photography, Rotterdam; La Primavera Barcelona (Fundacio La Caixa).

1993 Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway

1992 David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, R.I.

1990 Art Institute of Chicago
Alternative Museum, New York
International Center for Photography, New York
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada

1989 Alternative Museum, New York
International Center for Photography, New York
International Museum of Photography/George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.
University of South Florida, Tampa
Canon Image Center, Amsterdam
Fotograficentrum, Stockholm, Sweden
Side Gallery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
Arbetets Museum, Norrkoping, Sweden

1988 Hipolyte Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
Ranta Gallery, Oulu, Finland
Burden Gallery, Aperture Foundation, New York

1987 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago

1986 Musee de la Villette, Paris
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University
The Catskill Center for Photography, Woodstock, N.Y.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

1985 Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Musee d'Art, Fribourg, France
Recontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France
Ledel Gallery, New York

1984 Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S. 1, New York
Film in the Cities, St. Paul, Minn.
Focus Gallery, San Francisco
City Gallery, New York
Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris
Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston
Galerie Magnum, Paris

1983 Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Ore.

1982 Side Gallery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England
Centre Kodak, Paris

1981 Palais du Luxembourg, Paris
International Center for Photography, New York

1980 Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S. 1, New York
Arts Council of Great Britain, London
Adakyu, Grand Gallery, Tokyo

1977 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Selected Collections

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Aris Council of Great Britain, London
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
First Bank of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Fondation Leitz, Rueil-Malmaison, France
Fondation Nationale pour la Photographie, Paris
International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis
Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris
Museum of the Moving Image, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Side Gallery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England
University of South Florida Art Museum, Tampa
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Victoria and Albert Museum, London


"Telex. Iran" ("Telex.- Persans") Aperture/Contrejour, 1984, Text by Gholam Hassan Saedi

"Farewell to Bosnia" Scalo Publishers, 1993, Text by Gilles Peress

"The Silence," Scalo Publishers, 1994, Text by Alison Des Forges

"Power In the Blood: Photographs of the North of Ireland" Jonathan Cape/Scalo, to be published Spring 1997, with texts by Nan Richardson and Gilles Peress


"A Peruvian Equation" from the series "The Magnum Eye," TV Tokyo, Japan, 1992