Larry Towell • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

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"If there's one theme that connects all my work, I think it's that of landlessness; how land makes people into who they are and what happens to them when they lose it and thus lose their identities"

- Larry Towell

b. 1953

Canadian

Based in Ontario, Canada

Member

Available for commissions
& assignments

Larry Towell’s business card reads ‘Human Being’. Experience as a poet and a folk musician have done much to shape his personal style. The son of a car repairman, Towell grew up in a large family in rural Ontario, Canada. During studies in visual arts at Toronto’s York University, he was given a camera and taught how to process black and white film.

A stint of volunteer work in Calcutta in 1976 provoked Towell to photograph and write. Back in Canada, he taught folk music to support himself and his family. In 1984, he became a freelance photographer and writer focusing on the dispossessed, exile and peasant rebellion. He completed projects on the Nicaraguan Contra war, on the relatives of the disappeared in Guatemala, and on American Vietnam War veterans who had returned to Vietnam to rebuild the country. His first published magazine essay, Paradise Lost, exposed the ecological consequences of the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. He became a Magnum nominee in 1988 and a full member in 1993.

In 1996, Towell completed a project based on ten years of reportage in El Salvador, followed the next year by a major book, Then Palestine. His fascination with landlessness also led him to the Mennonite migrant workers of Mexico, an eleven-year project completed in 2000.

With the help of the inaugural Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, he finished a second highly acclaimed book on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 2005, and in 2008 released the award-winning The World From My Front Porch, a project on his own family in rural Ontario where he sharecrops a 75-acre farm.

Awards
2011 Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award, Ontario Arts Foundation
2010 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Award
2009 The World From My Front Porch- One of ten best photo books of 2008, Photo-eye
2009 The World From My Front Porch- And/or Photography Book Award (Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, UK- shortlisted)
2009 T he World From My Front Porch- One of 50 Best photo books of the year. Festival Of The Photograph. Charlottesville, Virginia
2008 One of the year’s best pictures, Photo District News
2007 Achievement In Filmmaking Award, New York Independent Film And Video Festival
2007 Alicia Patterson Award (USA, Finalist)
2006 PDN Photo Annual: One of the year’s best projects
2005 Prix Nadar (best photography book published in France 2005.)
2003 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (France)
2002 Roloff Beny Book Award (Canada)
2001 British Design and Art Direction (D&AD) Award London, UK (1st Prize)
2000 Society for News Design Award, La Nacion (Argentina)
2000 Photo-eye Award, Citation of Excellence (USA)
1999 Hasselblad Foundation Award (Sweden)
1999 Roloff Beny Book Award (Canada)
1999 POY (Pictures of the Year, University of Missouri) special recognition, Canon Photo Essayist
1999 POY Best Use of Photography in Books
1998 Alfred Eisenstadt Award; Portraiture, Columbia University, NYC, (1st prize)
1998 Pictures of the Year Foundation, University of Missouri; Pictorial (1st prize)
1998 Pictures of the Year Foundation, University of Missouri; Feature Stories (2nd prize)
1998 Overseas Press Club, New York, Citation of Excellence.
1998 Society of Publication Designers (SPD) Magazine of the Year, NY Times, BEING 13
1998 SPD- Merit Award, New York Times Magazine
1997 Maine Photographic Workshops, Golden Light Award for El Salvador, best monograph/book of 1997
1997 SPD- Merit Award, LIFE MAGAZINE, Feature Story
1996 Pictures of the Year Foundation, Special Recognition, Canon Photo Essayist
1996 Oskar Barnack Leica Award (Germany)
1996 El Mundo Award (Spain)
1995 Ernst Haas Foundation Award (USA)
2000-95-94 Canadian National Magazine Awards (Gold)
1995-93-91 Western Canada magazine Awards (Gold)
1994 Pictures of the Year Foundation, University of Missouri; Canon Photo Essayist (1st prize)
1994 World Press Foundation (Amsterdam); World Press Photo of the Year (1st prize), Daily Life Stories (1st prize), General News Stories (1st prize)
1993 World Press Foundation (Amsterdam); Daily Life Stories (1st prize)
1991 W Eugene Smith Foundation Award (International Centre of Photography, New York)

Authored Books
2008 The World From My Front Porch, Chris Boot (UK)
2008 The Cardboard House, Trolley, (Italy)
2006 In The Wake Of Hurricane Katrina, Archive Of Modern Conflict (UK)
2005 No Man’s Land, Textuel (France) Chris Boot (UK)
2005 Larry Towell, (Magnum Series) Hachette, France
2000 The Mennonites, Phaidon Press (UK, France)
1999 Then Palestine, Aperture (USA); Marval (France)
1997 El Salvador, W.W. Norton/Doubletake Books (USA)
1994 House on Ninth Street, Cormorant Books, Dunvegan, ON
1992 The Prison Poems of Ho Chi Minh, Cormorant Books, Dunvegan, ON
1990 Somoza’s Last Stand, Williams-Wallace Publishers, Stratford, ON
1988 Gifts of War, Coach House Press, Toronto, ON
1983 Burning Cadillacs, Black Moss Press, Windsor, ON

Group Books
2010 Engaged Observers, The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
2009 Access To Life, Aperture, USA
2007 Magnum Magnum, Thames & Hudson, UK
2007 Magnum 60 years, Magnum (Paris)
2005 Things As They Are, Boot, UK
2004 Magnum Stories, Phaidon, UK
2004 Outside The Ordinary, Aperture, NYC
2003 New Yorkers, Powerhouse, NYC
2003 al gusta de Cartier-Bresson, Fundacio ôla Caixaö, Paris
2002 Aperture At 50, Aperture, NY, USA
2002 Le Photojournalisme Aux Encheres 2002, Thierry de Maigret, Paris, France
2002 This Is New York, Scalo, NYC
2002 The Best of 2002, American Photography, USA
2002 Confronting Views, aurora borealis, Netherlands
2002 La fotografia tra storia e poesi, Mazzotta, Italy
2002 Schattenlicht, GEO, Germany
2002 Endure, The Rockerfeller Foundation, USA
2002 Magnum Football, Phaidon, UK
2002 Non a la pollution, Editions PEMF, France
2001 New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers, Powerhouse, USA
2001 Woman. Running Press, USA
1999 Magnum O, Phaidon UK
1999 Crimes of War, W.W. Norton and Company, USA
1998 Israel 50 Years, Aperture, USA
1998 Hope, Thames and Hudson, USA
1998 War, Presse de la Cite, Paris, France
1997 Guerra Fratricidas, Fundacion Caixa, Spain
1996 Magnum Landscape, Phaidon, UK
1995 The Critical Mirror, World Press Photo 40 Year Anniversary Issue, The Netherlands
1992 Flesh and Blood: Photographer’s Images of their own Families, The Picture Project, New York, USA
1991 Companeros, Cormorant Books, Dunvegan, Ontario
1988 Garden Varieties, Cormorant Books, Dunvegan, Ontario
1988 A Labour of Love, Polestar Books, Winlaw, BC

Catalogues
1997 Larry Towell, Fundacion Caixagalicia, Spain
1988 Gifts Of War, Art Gallery Of Windsor, Windsor, ON

Group Catalogues 
2010 Engaged Observers, Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
2003 Foundation HCB, Paris France, 2003
2001 Spirit of Religion, Photographic Centre, Skopelos, Greece
1997 Printemps Palestine, AFAA, France
1997 The Garden of Eden, Noorderlicht Festival, Holland
1996 America Observed, 92nd Street Y, NYC
1994 Carnets de Voyage, CMCP, Ottawa
1994 Bambini de Guerra, Contrasto, Milan, Italy
1990 Le Mois de la Photo, Montreal, Que

Recent Selected Solo Exhibitions 
2011 Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto
2011 Museum London, London, ON
2010 Palazzo dei Duchi dÆAcquivia, Atri, Abruzzo, Italy
2010 Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009 McDonough Museum Of Art, Youngstown, Ohio
2008 George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
2008 Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto
2007 University Of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington KY, USA
2007 Arthur Ross Gallery, Pennsylvania, USA
2006 Le theatre de la photographie et de l’image, Nice, France
2006 FOAM, Amsterdam, Holland
2006 Galerie Zola, Aix-en-provence, France
2005 L’Espace Malraux Scene Nationale de Chambery, Chambery, France
2005 No ManÆs Land, Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, France
2005 No Mans Land, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON
2005 Projects, Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON
2004 Alice Austin Museum, New York City, USA
2003 Festival Fotografia, Rome
2003 The Caixa Forum, Barcelona, Spain
2003 Oratorio del Caravita, Rome, Italy
2003 Presentation House, Vancouver, BC
2003 Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany
2002 Canada House (Canadian High Commission) London, UK
2002 Leaf Rapids National Exhibition Centre, Leaf Rapids, Manitoba
2002 University of Northern British Colombia, Prince George, B.C
2002 Gallery Lambton, Sarnia, ON
2002 Leaf Rapids National Exhibition Centre, Leaf Rapids, MA
2001 National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
2001 Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
2001 The Leica Gallery, New York City
2001 Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa
2001 McLaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON
2000 Staedtische Gallery, Iserlohn, Germany
2000 Aleppo Photo Festival, Aleppo, Syria
2000 Canadian Embassy, Damascus, Syria
2000 London Regional Art Gallery, London, ON
2000 Perpignan Photo Festival, Perpignan, France
2000 The Leica Gallery, New York City
2000 Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON
1999 Cambridge Art Gallery, Cambridge, ON
1998 Aubenades de la Photographie, Aubenas, France
1998 Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
1998 Wisconsin Union Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
1998 Vox Populi, Montreal, Que
1998 Sala Caixa Galicia, Lugo, Spain
1998 Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain
1998 Sala Caixa Galicia, Vigo, Spain
1997 Manifestations Culturelles, Nablus, Ramallah, East Jerusalem, (West Bank)
1997 The Leica Gallery, New York City
1997 Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON
1997 Sala de la Expositions Kiosko Alfonso, La Coruna, Spain
1997 Montparnesse FNAC, Paris, France, national tour
1997 Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Gronigen, The Netherlands
1996 Zelda Cheatle Gallery, London, UK
1996 Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON
1995 Gallery “Kimon”, Athens, Greece
1995 Das Bildforum Foto Festival, Herten, Germany
1994 The Photo Passage, Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
1994 Ecole Sup “le 15”, Brussels, Belgium
1994 Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, W. Virginia, USA
1994 Retrospective, Nieuwekerk Cathedral, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1994 Recontres Photographiques de Normandie, Abbey St. Ouen, Rouen, France
1994 Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa
1992 National Library of Canada, Ottawa
1992 The Photo Passage, Harbourfront, Toronto
1991 Forest City Gallery, London, ON
1991 Maison de la Culture Plateau, Montreal, Que
1991 Spencer Gallery, University of Western Ontario, London, ON
1991 Christ Church, Hamilton, ON
1990 Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alta
1990 Dunlop Gallery, Regina, Sask
1989 Toronto Photographer’s Workshop, Toronto
1989 Sarnia Public Art Gallery, Sarnia, ON
1989 London Regional Art Gallery, London, ON
1989 The Photographer’s Gallery, Saskatoon, Sask
1988 Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON

 

Selected Group Exhibitions (1997-2013)
2013 Sala Gasco Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile
2013 Monash Gallery Of Art, Victoria, Australia
2012 Sydney Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
2012 Hangaram Museum, Seoul, South Korea
2012 Lumiere Brothers Center For Photography, Moscow, Russia
2011 Les Recontres dÆ Arles, France
2011 Perpignan, France (slide show)
2010 African American Museum and Library, Oakland, CA
2010 Bcc Berliner Congress Center, Berlin, German
2010 United Nations, New York City, New York
2010 Asahi Mullioin Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2010 Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
2010 Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2010 African American Museum, Oakland, CA
2009 Contact Photo Festival, Toronto
2009 Pont de la Machine, Geneva, Switzerland
2009 Matadero Museu, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
2009 Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway
2009 Ara Pacis, Rome, Italy
2008 Accueillie par le Musee de L’Homme, Paris, France
2008 Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC
2008 PathT Palace, Buxelles, Belgium
2008 Access To Life, Corcoran Museum Of Art, Washington DC
2007 Nicephore, Clermont-Ferrand, Puy de Dome, France
2007 Museum London. London, ON
2007 Art Gallery Of Windsor, Windsor, ON
2007 Paris Photo Fair, Le Louvre, Paris, France
2006 Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway
2006 Museum GEO-CHARLES, Echirolles, France
2006 Remembering 911- 1 Liberty Plaza, NY, NY
2006 Lazienki Park, Warsaw, Poland
2005 Paris Photo Fair, Le Louvre, Paris, France
2005 Leica Gallery, NYC, USA
2005 Dfphoto, San Sebastian, Spain. Cervantes Festival, Alca de Henares, Spain
2004 Open Society Institute, New York City, USA
2004 Vancouver Image Works Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2004 Philadelphia Museum Of Art, Philadelphia, USA
2004 Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON
2004 The Museum Of The City Of New York, NYC. USA
2003 Caixaforum, Barcelona, Spain
2003 The Fleeting Moment, Fundacion Agnellion, Torino, Italy
2003 Museo Nationale del Cinema, Turin, Italy
2003 Pace/Macgill Gallery, NYC, USA
2003 The Leica Gallery, Prague, Czeck Republic
2003 Paris Photo, Paris France
2003 Fundacion ôla Caixaö, Barcelona, Spain
2003 Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, USA
2003 Pictou Gallery, Toronto, ON
2003 Weltkulturerbe Voelklingen Hutte, Germany
2003 The Henry Cartier-Bresson Foundation, Paris, France
2003 Aperture At 50, SothebyÆs, NYC
2003 The Photographer’s Gallery, London, UK
2002 Nihombashi Mitsukoshi, Tokyo, Japan
2002 School of Visual Arts, New York City
2002 Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON
2002 New York State Museum, New York City
2002 Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, Ill
2002 Forest City Gallery, London. ON
2002 Fondazione Nazionale Italiana per la Fotografia, Torino, Italy
2002 Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Gronigen, The Netherlands
2002 Housatonic museum, Bridgeport, CT. USA
2002 The Whopping Hydro Electric Plant Gallery, London, UK
2002 Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
2002 National Arts Club, New York City, USA
2002 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
2002 Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2002 The Harbourfront, Toronto, ON
2001 Spirit of Religion, Cinema Museum, Saronique, Greece
2001 National Photography Centre, Sopelos, Greece
2001 New York Historical Society, New York City
2001 Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, Canada
2001 Here In New York, Spring Street Gallery, New York City, NY
2000 The Barbican, London, UK
2000 Seiba Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2000 The Museum of Art, Osaka, Kintetsu, Japan
2000 Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON
2000 Portland Museum of Art, Portland ME
2000 Beaux Arts of Charleroi and Brussels 2000 Committee; Brussels, Belgium
2000 Biblioteque Nationale de France, Paris, France
2000 New York Historical Society, NYC, USA
2000 The Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
2000 Palazzo del Esposizioni, Rome, Italy
2000 Kunsthaus Caserne, Zurich, Switzerland
2000 Deichtoraller, Hamburg, Germany
2000 Reina Sofia Museum of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
2000 Botanique, Brussels, Belgium
2000 Louiyana Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
1999 Art Director’s Club, NYC
1999 The Alternative Museum, NYC
1999 Le Pont Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
1998 Underexposed, Underground Station Zinkensdamm, Stockholm, Sweden
1998 Gallerie du Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France
1998 Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC
1998 The Station Gallery, Whitby, ON
1997 Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto
1997 Art Gallery of North York, North York, ON
1997 Galerie d’art du Centre Cultural Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Que
1997 Milton J. Weil Art Gallery, NYC
1997 Musee de Quebec, Quebec City, Que
1997 Kasan Museum Exhibition Centre, Hazelton, BC
1997 The National Arts Club, NYC
1997 Casa de Vacas de Ritiro, Madrid, Spain
1997 Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, BC,
1996 Les Paysages de Magnum, Bon Marche, Paris, France
1996 pARTs Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1996 Kent Gallery, Soho, NYC
1996 Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
1995 Photographic Centre of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Holland
1995 The Art Institute of Boston, Boston. Mass
1995 World Press Photo Exhibition; international tour
1995 Galerie St. Etienne, NYC
1994 World Press Photo Exhibition: international tour
1994 Galerie de Chateau, Toulouse, France
1994 Ansel Adams Centre of Photography, San Francisco, CA. USA
1993 World Press Photo Exhibition: international tour
1993 Kilbany Museum, Scotland
1993 Vietnam Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Martinsburg, W. Virginia, USA
1993 Nikon House, NYC
1993 International Centre of Photography (ICP), NYC
1993 Hagerstown College Gallery, Hagerstown, MD., USA
1993 Capocon Resort, Berkley, MD., USA

Collections
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
The George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
National Museum of Qatar, Qatar
The National Archives Of Canada . Ottawa
Archive Of Modern Conflict, London, UK
Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, Paris, France
Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC
LÆHoist Collection (France)
Vancouver Art Gallery
The Teutloff Collection, Bielefeld, Germany
Musee Des Beaux-Arts De Montreal
Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)
National Gallery (Canada)
The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
Art Gallery of Ontario (Canada)
Galerie du Chateau d’Eau (France)
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art (USA)
Noordelicht Collection, Gronigen (Holland)
The Ernst Haas Memorial Collection, Portland Museum of Art (USA)
Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin (USA)
Ecole Sup “le 15” (Belgium)
FNAC (France)
Art Gallery of Windsor (Canada)
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Art
Toronto Photographer’s Workshop (Canada)
Private collections

Periodical and magazine publications include:
The New York Times Magazine, Aperture, Photo District News, American Photography, Doubletake, LIFE Magazine, TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone (USA), Das Magazine, Bilanz (Switzerland), Profil (Austria), GEO, Stern, Lux, Max, (Germany), Paris Match, Telerama, Le Monde, Liberacion, Elle (France), Photo Italia (Italy), La Revista (Spain), Canadian Geographic (Canada), Playboy (Japan), The Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday, Granta (UK), The Paris Review (USA).

Performances 
2012 Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto
2012 Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY
2009 Kilcawley Center, McDonough Museum, Youngstown OH
2009 St. Clair College. Performing Arts, Port Huron MI
2009 Jeanne Gordon Theatre, Wallaceburg, ON
2008 George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
2008 Contact Photo Festival, Toronto, ON
2008 Cheeky Monkay. Sarnia. On
2007 University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
2006 Camera, Toronto, ON
2006 George Eastman House, Rochester
2004 Camera, Toronto, ON
2003 Emily Carr School Of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC
2002 Harbourfront Center, Toronto, ON
2002 Sarnia Library Theatre, Sarnia, ON
2000 Hanover College of the Arts, Hanover, Germany
2000 London Regional Art Gallery, London, ON
1998 Maine Photographic Workshops, Portland, ME
1998 The National Union Of Journalists, Copenhagen, Denmark
1998 University Of Windsor, Windsor, ON
1998 Elvehjem Museum Of Art, Madison, Wisconsin
1997 International Center Of Photography (ICP), NYC
1997 Interfoto Conference, Moscow, Russia
1997 Kiosko Alfonso, La Coruna, Spain
1997 Nororderlicht Photofestival, Gronigen, The Netherlands
1994 National Geographic Annual Conference, Washingon, DC

Discography & Films
2008 The Bike Ride (video installation)
2008 Video Montage (George Eastman House video installation)
2008 The World From My Front Porch (audio CD)
2008 Indecisive Moments (Video Diary Of A Still Photographer) (45 minute DVD)
2005 The Dark Years (audio 2 CD set)
2005 No Man’s Land (installation video)
2005 No Man’s Land (ambient audio CD)
2004 Mary’s Accordion (video)
2004 The Mennonites (audio CD)
1979 Feathers And Bones (LP)

Film Screenings & Festivals (for Indecisive Moments & Train of Thought)
2012 Arles, France
2009 Perspektivet Museum, Tromso, Norway
2009 Toronto Palestinian Film Festival
2009 Palestine Film Festival, London Regional Art Gallery, London ON
2008 Independent Film Center, New York City
2008 Copenhagen DOX, Copenhagen, Denmark
2007 Camera, Toronto
2007 New York Independent Film and Video Festival, NYC Annual Palestinian Film Festival, London, ON
2007 Paraty Photo Festival, Paraty Brazil

Multi-media presentations
2011 Contact Photo Festival, Toronto
2010 Collected Works Live with The Henrys, Drake Hotel, Toronto
2009 Whyte Art Gallery, Banff, Alberta.
2008 Camera Theatre, Toronto
2007 Arles Photo Festival, Arles, France
2007 Festival of the Photograph, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
2007 Rockefeller Center, NYC
2007 Festival of the Photograph, Charlottesville, Virginia
2006 42nd Street Billboard, Times Square, NYC
2006 Contact Photo Festival, Toronto
2005 42nd Street digital billboard, Port Authority, NYC, USA
2005 Contact Photo Festival, slide show, Toronto
2005 Rute, Andalucia, and Marinaleda; Zornotza, Bizkaia and La lateruena Durangoko, Durango, Spain, slide show
2005 Perpignan Photo Festival, Perpignan, France
2004 Perpignan Photo Festival, Perpignan, France

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