Michael Schmidt Wins Prix Pictet


Berlin-based photographer Michael Schmidt has won the fifth $112,500 Prix Pictet. The prize was announced today by Kofi Annan at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Schmidt was chosen from among a shortlist that included photographers such as Rineke Dijkstra, Allan Sekula and Laurie Simmons for his project Foodstuffs (2006-10).

Sir David King, chair of the judges, described Foodstuffs in a press release as “an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves.” The prize highlights socially and environmentally focused projects.

Schmidt, 69, has had solo exhibitions at venues including Munich’s Haus der Kunst, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Sprengel Museum, Hannover.

An exhibition of the 11 shortlisted photographers opens tomorrow at the Victoria & Albert Museum (through June 14). Other shortlisted photographers include Japan’s Motoyuki Daifu, China’s Hong Hao, Nigeria’s Abraham Oghobase and Ukrainian Boris Mikhailov.

The prize is sponsored by Swiss wealth management firm the Pictet Group. The four previous winners were Benoît Aquin, Nadav Kander, Mitch Epstein and Luc Delahaye. The jury this year included Delahaye along with Whitney Museum curator Elisabeth Sussman and Mori Art Museum director