Gilles Peress

Gilles Peress

2009 Honoree: Achievement in Photojournalism


PeressGILLES PERESS was born on December 29, 1946, in France. He studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and at the Universite de Vincennes. Gilles Peress started using photography to create museum installations and books in 1971. In 1972, Gilles Peress began documenting immigration in Europe. This work continues in his ongoing project, Hate Thy Brother, a cycle of documentary narratives that looks at intolerance and it’s consequences.

His books include Haines; A Village Destroyed; The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar; The Silence: Rwanda; Farewell to Bosnia and Telex Iran.

His work has been exhibited and is collected by the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, PS1, all in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the V&A in London; the Musée d’Art Moderne, the Picasso Museum, Parc de la Villette and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, among others.

Awards and fellowships Peress has received include: The Guggenheim Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts grants, Pollock-Krasner and New York State Council of the Arts fellowships, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography and International Center of Photography Infinity Awards.

Portfolios of his work have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Sunday Times Magazine, Du magazine, Life, Stern, Geo, Paris-Match, Parkett, Aperture and the New Yorker.

Peress is Professor of Human Rights and Photography at Bard College, NY and Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley. Peress joined Magnum Photos in 1971 and served three times as vice-president and twice as president of the co-operative. He and his wife, Alison Cornyn, live in Brooklyn with their three children.