2017 Round-Up | Photo London Master of Photography Taryn Simon

The Photo London Master of Photography Award, designed by Sarah Straussberg


Through a special exhibition of their work at Photo London, and supported by a headline talk during the Fair, the Photo London Master of Photography award honours a living artist who has made an exceptional contribution to the art of photography.

The 2017 recipient is American artist Taryn Simon.

Self-portrait by Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon (b. 1975) is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, text, sculpture and performance. Guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification, her practice involves extensive research into the power and structure of secrecy and the precarious nature of survival. Simon’s works have been the subject of exhibitions at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (2016-17), The Albertinum, Dresden (2016), Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2016), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2016), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2015), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Tate Modern, London (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007).

Permanent collections include Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, the Guggenheim Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her work was included in the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Simon’s installation, An Occupation of Loss (2016), co-commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory and Artangel, premiered in New York in 2016. The sculpture will be installed in an outdoor space in London in 2017. Simon is a graduate of Brown University and a Guggenheim Fellow. She lives and works in New York.

Simon’s exhibition at this year’s edition of the Fair centred around her work Image Atlas, and was accompanied by a selection of various published titles.

Created by Taryn Simon and programmer Aaron Swartz, Image Atlas (2012) investigates cultural differences and similarities by indexing top image results for given search terms across local engines throughout the world. Visitors can refine or expand their comparisons from the 57 countries currently available, and sort by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or alphabetical order.

Image Atlas interrogates the possibility of a universal visual language and questions the supposed innocence and neutrality of the algorithms upon which search engines rely.

Taryn Simon’s solo exhibition at Photo London 2017

Taryn Simon in conversation with James Lingwood, Co-Director of Artangel, during Photo London 2017


A video recording of this talk will be made available soon.


You can now experience Photo London 2017 with the Virtual Visit

Photo London will return to Somerset House 17-20 May 2018 (Preview Day 16 May)

All images by Graham Carlow