Photographers An-My Lê and Uta Barth are among the 23 artists, scientists, social scientists and scholars named MacArthur Fellows for 2012. Commonly called the “genius” grant, the fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation awards $500,000 over the course of five years to people who have made outstanding achievements in their field. There is no application process, nominations are secret, and recipients can do as they please with the “unrestricted” grant.

Lê, 52, who was born in Saigon and now teaches at Bard College, is best known for her series “Small Wars,” about amateur battle reenactments and simulated battles used to train soldiers.

Conceptual photographer Uta Barth, 54, creates atmospheric images that use blur and light to explore perception. Last year the Art Institute of Chicago exhibited her latest series, titled “…and to draw a bright white line with light.”

Photographers who have won past MacArthur Fellowships include Robert Adams (1994), Susan Meiselas (1992), Faizal Sheikh (2005) and Lynsey Addario (2009).


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