Aperture’s 2021 Gala Celebrates the Reach of Photography Today

This fall, Aperture’s annual gala celebrates the range of its publishing program with three honorees: Sara Cwynar, Graciela Iturbide, and Dr. Kenneth Montague.

Aperture's 2021 Gala Celebrates the Reach of Photography Today
Graciela Iturbide, Mujer ángel, Desierto de Sonora, México, 1979
Courtesy the artist

Aperture News – September 14, 2021

This year, Aperture’s annual gala celebrates the range of its publishing program with three honorees: artists Sara Cwynar and Graciela Iturbide, and esteemed collector Dr. Kenneth Montague. Aperture’s Executive Director, Sarah Meister, notes “the breadth of their practices reflect distinct and essential approaches to the medium, and point to Aperture’s vital role in adding context and nuance to these achievements.”

The two-day celebration opens with an in-person gathering on October 19 at Selina in Manhattan, featuring entertainment and a preview of special prints and experiences as part of our annual fundraising auction. This is followed by a virtual celebration on October 20, featuring honoree tributes by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Legacy Russell, Jamel Shabazz, and more. Leading up to the gala, a special photography auction in partnership with Artsy will open on October 8.

The gala provides critical sustaining support for Aperture’s publications, educational initiatives, exhibitions, and public programming. It aims to celebrate Aperture’s community of inspiration and almost seventy-year history of publishing groundbreaking photography, fostering the development and appreciation of the medium and its practitioners.

Below, read more about this year’s honorees and see here for information on how to register for the 2021 Aperture Gala.


Self portrait by Sara Cwynar
Courtesy the artist

Sara Cwynar

Aperture honors Sara Cwynar for her research-driven and visually complex photographs that investigate color and consumer culture on the occasion of her first monograph, Sara Cwynar: Glass Life (Aperture, 2021). Cwynar’s images constitute the hallmark of contemporary post­–Pictures Generation work—in which photography is pursued to relation to film, sculpture, digital culture, and the cultural and technological history of image-making. Her previous artist books include Kitsch Encyclopedia (2014) and Pictures of Pictures (2014), and her film Red Film (2018) was featured in the 2018 São Paulo Biennial and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Graciela Iturbide photographed by Mario Bellatin
Courtesy the artist

Graciela Iturbide

Recognized today as one of the greatest living photographers in Latin America, Graciela Iturbide envisions the rich cultural heritage and diversity of life in Mexico, particularly its Indigenous traditions. Known for her lyrical black-and-white photographs, Iturbide has transformed everyday life into poetic and powerful art for more than fifty years. Aperture honors Iturbide’s decades-long practice and inspiring work, including her upcoming title for Aperture’s Photography Workshop Series.

Dr. Kenneth Montague photographed by Markian Lozowchuk
Courtesy the artist

Dr. Kenneth Montague

Dr. Kenneth Montague started the Wedge Collection in 1997 to acquire and exhibit art that engages multifaceted ideas of Black life through the lenses of community, identity, and power. Aperture honors Dr. Montague on the occasion of the release of As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic, a forthcoming Aperture book presenting a compilation of photographs from the Wedge Collection. Featuring over one hundred works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, and the United States, as well as throughout the African continent, the volume serves as a testament to the support provided to artists by collecting and amplifying their work.

The 2021 Aperture Gala takes place on October 19 and 20, 2021. See here for full program details and to register for the free virtual event.

The 2021 Aperture Gala is made possible with the generous support of gala cohosts Julie Bédard, Kate Cordsen, Lyle Ashton Harris, Cathy Kaplan, and Lisa Rosenblum; and sponsors Anheuser-Busch, BFA, Ghia, the Self Portrait Project, Selina, and Yola Mezcal.


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