Hasted Kraeutler


Artist Biography


Albert Watson

The globally celebrated Scottish photographer Albert Watson (b. 1942) is one of contemporary photography's Renaissance Men, working seamlessly across genres, from portraiture to landscape to still life, and making them his own. His career spans more than four decades, and beyond including some of the fashion industry's most iconic images of all time, his portfolio is as varied as it is distinctly his, marked by a deeply intuitive understanding of texture, color, and shape—always at the service of creating dramatic, breathtaking compositions that amount to the visual equivalent of the literary Epic.

There is no limit to the subjects across which Watson has trained his lens—and his meticulous eye—capturing the intimate, personal moments of Las Vegas dominatrixes, dramatic expanses of American desert, or even a starkly lit close-up of King Tutankhamen’s sock. Indeed, his use of light to transform any object into striking objects worthy of aesthetic worship is one of the defining qualities of his work. He imbues every image with a compelling psychological depth that both draws viewers in and commands a level of respectful distance.

As diverse as are his subjects, so, too, are his influences and allusions vast and varied. In his studies of human skin, smooth expanses of flesh are abstracted to evoke swaths of sand or rolling hills—much like the work of Edward Weston. The influence of commercial advertising—and even of Pop art's masters, from Andy Warhol to Roy Lichtenstein—is evident in the spare, graphic orientation of his figures to ground. He regularly creates stark contrasts between light and dark, object and shadow, to keep the eye actively moving and vividly involved with his images, which appear to balance composition and gesture as successfully as Abstract Expressionist painters from Pollock to de Kooning.

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Albert Watson studied film and television at the Royal College of Art in London before he moved to the United States in 1970 to launch a career in photography. He has received many honors, including a Lucie Award for lifetime achievement in photography, a Grammy Award for the cover of the Mason Profitt album, Come and Gone (1975), and three ANDY Awards for creativity in advertising. On September 9, 2010, the Royal Photographic Society awarded him their Centenary Medal, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the art and science of photography. Photo District News has named him one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time, and his many monographs and catalogues include Cyclops (Bulfinch, 1994), Maroc (Rizzoli, 1998), The Vienna Album (Schirmer/Mosel, 2005), Albert Watson (Phaidon, 2007), and Il Coniglio Bianco (Contrasto, 2009). In 2010 PQ Blackwell released two major monographs, UFO (Unified Fashion Objectives) and Strip Search, presenting a 40-year retrospective of Watson’s work, pulled from his vast archive.

Albert Watson has had solo exhibitions of his work at famed international institutions including the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany, Museum of Modern Art in Milan, Italy, Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden,the KunstHausWien in Vienna, Austria, the City Art Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, the FotoMuseum in Antwerp, Belgium, the NRW Forum in Düsseldorf, Germany, and the Forma Gallery in Milan. His photographs have also been shown at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany.



Albert Watson

Vintage Photographs Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Cyclops
Dec 04, 2012 - Jan 19, 2013

Great Photographs: Scape

Ansel Adams, Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Jeff Bark, James Casebere, Elger Esser, Julian Faulhaber, Pierre Gonnord, William Hentry Jackson, Patrick Jacobs, Vik Muniz, Nick Knight, Koyo Okada, Clifford Ross, Joel Sternfeld, And Albert Watson
Jun 14 - Jul 20, 2012

Albert Watson

Oct 21 - Dec 04, 2010



Le Choix d'Albert Watson
Sep 23, 2014

Image in Progress

Jun 01, 2013


Eveything You Need To Know This Week On New York’s Art Scene
Oct 24, 2012


Steve Jobs: Visionary, Inventor, and Very Challenging Photo Subject
Oct 06, 2011

Scotland on Sunday

Albert Watson has made a career out of photographing the bold and the beautiful but his Scottish roots keep pulling him to new projects ... and potential retirement
Dec 07, 2010


Dec 06, 2010

Amelia's Magazine

Master at Work: Albert Watson
Dec 02, 2010

Venice Magazine

Always On
Dec 01, 2010

Las Vegas Weekly

Albert Watsons New Photography Book Captures Vegas...
Nov 18, 2010


Albert Watson at Hasted Kraeutler
Nov 16, 2010

The Huffington Post

Finding Artist Purity in the Great American City of Dreams: Las Vegas
Nov 12, 2010

GUP 027

Strip Search
Nov 01, 2010

The New York Times Style Magazine

Master of All He Surveys
Oct 03, 2010


Watson on Watson
Oct 01, 2010


Albert Watson's Reflections on Style
Oct 01, 2010


Royal Photographic Society Awards Centenary Medal to Albert Watson
Jul 01, 2010


Albert Watson

Albert Watson Retrospective at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow
Feb 18, 2015

Albert Watson

Albert Watson exhibits Silver Linings at Izzy Gallery
Feb 05, 2015

Albert Watson

Albert Watson's photographs featured in Taschen's book of photographs, "The Rolling Stones"
Jan 17, 2015

Albert Watson

VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS, Cyclops, artist's reception
Oct 25, 2012

Albert Watson

Artist's Reception
Oct 21, 2010


Strip Search

PQ Blackwell
Dec 01, 2010

UFO: Albert Watson

Nov 01, 2010

Albert Watson

Phaidon Press
Oct 15, 2007

Albert Watson

Sep 01, 1994