Elisabeth Biondi is an independent curator, a venture she embarked on having left The New Yorker in 2011, after fifteen years as the magazine’s visuals editor. So far she has curated Subjective/Objective, and Under the Bridge, for the NY PhotoFestival, and New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography, at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea. In the fall of 2011, her exhibition Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker, was the season’s opening show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery. It has been expanded and traveled to the Ullens Center in Beijing. Currently, Biondi’s exhibition Widely Different: New York City Panoramas, is on view at the Seaport Museum, in New York.
Born and educated in Germany, Biondi started working with photography when Geo magazine made its appearance on the American market. Although the magazine won many awards for its photography and design, it ultimately ceased publication in 1984. Subsequently, Biondi moved to Vanity Fair. As director of photography, she focused on lively, witty portraiture—an important contribution to the increased success of the publication. After seven years at Vanity Fair, Biondi returned to Germany to work for Stern. As head of the photography department, she explored the fast-paced world of news and reportage photography, and worked with photographers from around the world.
In 1996, Biondi returned to New York to join The New Yorker, shortly after photography was introduced to the magazine, and as it began to play a more prominent editorial role. As visuals editor she helped shape the look of the publication by establishing a group of staff photographers, commissioning both well-known photographers and emerging talent, and utilizing portrait, fine art, and documentary photography. She built a strong reputation for The New Yorker’s use of photography, and the magazine received numerous awards, including two National Magazine Awards.
Biondi is also a senior thesis adviser for SVA Graduate School, and is a contributing editor for Aperture and Fantôme magazines. She has sat on the World Press Photo contest jury on two previous occasions, and was a master for the Joop Swart Masterclass in 1995.