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Prix Pictet winner dies [update]

Michael Schmidt's Lebensmittel, on display at the fifth Prix Pictet exhibition, at the V&A in London. Image © Hugo Glendinning

German photographer Michael Schmidt dies just days after winning Prix Pictet

German photographer Michael Schmidt has died, aged 68. Schmidt died on Saturday 24 May in Berlin.

His death comes only days after the photographer won the fifth Prix Pictet, an award that focuses on photography and sustainability.

It has not been disclosed how the photographer died, but a statement from his gallery, Nordenhake, said he had been suffering from a serious illness. “We are mourning the loss of long time friend and distinguished artist Michael Schmidt. He died last Saturday after serious illness in Berlin.”

As reported in BJP, Schmidt was awarded the 100,000 Swiss franc (£66,200) prize for his series Lebensmittel, which explores the global food production industry.

Kofi Annan made the announcement at an awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Wednesday evening.

Photographer Luc Delahaye, recipient of the fourth Prix Pictet and a member of this year’s Jury, praised Schmidt’s work prior to his death.

“With Lebensmittel, Michael Schmidt shows us how people, animals and nature are exploited in the agro-business,” writes Delahaye on the Prix Pictet website. “What’s important is that Schmidt does not accuse, he simply reveals, and the interpretation is left to the viewer… Michael Schmidt shows us that this kind of photography is today more relevant than ever.”

Schmidt was born in 1945 in Berlin. His work has been exhibited internationally on numerous occasions, including at Art Cologne (2009), London’s Barbican, the Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2006), The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and the Tate Modern in London.

His work is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in south London as part of the fifth Prix Pictet until 14 June.

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