18 April 1997 - 30 June 2017
1997 Richard Billingham
1998 Andreas Gursky
1999 Rineke Dijkstra
2000 Anna Gaskell
2001 Boris Mikhailov
2002 Shirana Shahbazi
2003 Juergen Teller
2004 Joel Sternfeld
2005 Luc Delahaye
2006 Robert Adams
2007 Walid Raad
2008 Esko Männikko
2009 Paul Graham
2010 Sophie Ristelhueber
2011 Jim Goldberg
2012 John Stezaker
2013 Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
2014 Richard Mosse
2015 Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse
Just as a day is a long time in politics, so eighteen years represents a lifetime for the chameleon medium of photography.
In 1996, when The Photographers' Gallery first established the Prize, photography's role within the broad spectrum of the visual arts was experiencing a particular moment. Having come in from the cold, it then held centre stage as the preferred medium for many important artists - from Jeff Wall and Cindy Sherman to Sam Taylor Wood, Catherine Yass and Gillian Wearing.
On reflection, it seems much clearer now, perhaps more than it did then, why in 1996 there was a pressing need to take stock and reflect on the state of photography - it was the year in which preparations were being made for the celebrated Sensation exhibition which took place at the Royal Academy in London, attracting unrivalled international attention to British art. It also corresponded with a period that saw the rise of a particular sensibility within documentary practice in the UK, as well as the collapse of boundaries between previously separate genres such as editorial and independent fashion photography.
It was the texture provided by this specific genetic map - in which the photographic image remained the central DNA - which was perceptively recognised by The Photographers' Gallery and its sponsors, first Citigroup and since 2005 Deutsche Börse, and used as the rationale for the creation of a new prize designed to reward and support photography.
Seventeen years on, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has not only fulfilled its initial aims - of stimulating public debate about the medium and celebrating photography as a whole - but has also succeeded in bringing new audiences to the form. Thanks to the generous support of our corporate sponsors, we have seen a significant rise in attendances, accompanied by an increased interest from the media and public alike. This is largely due to the fact that each year the nominees for the Prize have reflected such a wide range of approaches to, and interpretations of, the medium: the Prize does not reward a specific form of photography, but photography in all its forms.
Although our judges over the years have faced formidable challenges in choosing between the work of an established documentary photographer or an emerging artist, the underlying thread is the recognition of the continuing importance which photography plays in contemporary culture.
Director, The Photographers' Gallery