John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021

"...articulate, distinctive style and clarity of vision."

The Foam Paul Huf Award 2021 goes to John Edmonds (1989, US). Earlier this week, a jury of five industry specialists chose this year’s winner from a selection of more than 100 nominees from 24 countries, selected by 25 nominators worldwide.

The Foam Paul Huf Award is presented annually to a photography talent under the age of 35 to encourage photographers in their artistic development. Foam has organised the award annually since 2007 and the winner is chosen by an independent international jury. John Edmonds is the fifteenth winner of the Foam Paul Huf Award.

The jury report states: “John Edmonds’ work impressed the jury with its very articulate, distinctive style and clarity of vision. With the seemingly simple but in essence culturally complex nature of his body of work he questions issues of identity and power from an African-American perspective. Edmonds’ work stems from a deep understanding of the medium of photography and taps into its modernist history.”

“His multi-layered body of work re-articulates that history with a focus on the Black human subject and cultural artefacts. The African art objects he uses have a multi-dimensional nature, but whether they are symbols of traditional African cultural heritage or signifiers of Diaspora and memory, they are used to question notions of displacement and dispossession in contemporary society. While expanding the tradition of studio portraiture, he thoughtfully reclaims the framing of the past and puts it firmly in our contemporary world, a world in which authenticity and identity are fluid and never fixed.”

John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021
John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021
John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021
John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021
John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021
John Edmonds (US) wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2021

Claartje van Dijk (head of exhibitions Foam): "Foam is delighted that the jury has selected John Edmonds as the new winner of the Foam Paul Huf Award. This year marks the fifteenth edition of the Award, which started in 2007 and is an important part of Foam's mission to identify and support young talented artists. As a team, the jury members united each of their individual cultural and professional backgrounds into selecting an outstanding artist. We look forward to working with John".

Honourable mention
The jury is giving an honourable mention to the work of Guanyu Xu (CN) as runner-up. “Xu’s work tackles sensitive issues of homosexuality and queerness in both a Chinese and American context and does so with a highly personal and experimental approach.”

The Prize
John Edmonds will receive a cash prize of € 20,000 and a solo exhibition at Foam. Additionally, his work will be published in the prestigious annual Talent issue of Foam Magazine. He will see his name added to an impressive list of alumni. Last year Laia Abril (1986, Spain) won the Foam Paul Huf Award. Her solo exhibition On Rape: A History of Misogyny, Chapter Two is currently on show at Foam and can be seen until 27 June 2021.

Previous winners
2020 – Laia Abril (1986, Spain), 2019 – Eric Gyamfi (1990, Ghana), 2018 – Daniel Shea (1985, United States), 2017  - Romain Mader (1988, Switzerland), 2016 - Daisuke Yokota (1983, Japan), 2015 - Momo Okabe (1981, Japan), 2014 - Daniel Gordon (1980, United States), 2013 - Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (1979, Switzerland), 2012 - Alex Prager (1979, United States),  2011 - Raphaël Dallaporta (1980, France), 2010 - Alexander Gronsky (1980, Estonia), 2009 - Leonie Hampton (1978, United Kingdom), 2008 - Pieter Hugo (1976, South Africa), 2007 - Taryn Simon (1975, United States) and Mikhael Subotzky (1981, South Africa).

Jury of 2021
The jury for 2021 consisted of the following members: Joachim Naudts (chair, artistic coordinator Kunsthal Extra City, Belgium), Osei Bonsu (curator international art, Tate Modern, United Kingdom), Alessia Glaviano (visual director of Vogue Italia and director of Photo Vogue Festival, Italy), Gwen Lee (co-founder Singapore International Photography Festival and DECK, Singapore) and Alona Pardo (curator Barbican Art Gallery, United Kingdom).

-> More about the jury

Paul Huf
The Dutch photographer Paul Huf (1924-2002) was known for his innovative photographic technique and was an important ambassador for the establishment of Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam in 2001. To honour this special relationship, the Foam Paul Huf Award was created in 2007 in order to stimulate and support photographers on a global scale.

The Foam Paul Huf Award was made possible in part by the generous support of Mentha Capital.


Note to editors: For information and visual material, please check www.foam.org/press or contact the Press Office of Foam on +31 (0)20 5516500 / pressoffice@foam.org. You can download the press kit using the login code: fpha21@foam.org.


Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Foam Members, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

In 2021 Foam receives additional support from Kickstart Cultuurfonds and the Mondriaan Fund.


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