Alec Soth was born in 1969 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Soth received international acclaim when his photographs were featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials.
Soth's photographic style has continued to develop in subsequent series beginning with his iconic Sleeping by the Mississippi, NIAGARA, The Last Days of W, Broken Manual, I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating and most recently A Pound of Pictures. Soth uses his large format camera to photograph the people and landscapes of suburban and rural communities, often during road trips throughout the Midwest and the South.
Soth has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows organized by the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center in Minnesota (2010), the Media Space in London (2015). In 2016, Soth’s Gathered Leaves, an exhibition which brought together his four signature series – Sleeping by the Mississippi, Niagara, Broken Manual, and Songbook, traveled to a number of institutions, including The Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki. Soth continues to exhibit worldwide, with recent solo exhibitions the Helmond Museum in the Netherlands (2021), the Kunst Haus Wien in Vienna and the Shanghai Xiang Cheng Center of Photography (2020) and the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX and the Haus der Photographie in Hamburg (2017), amongst others.
Soth’s first monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004 to critical acclaim. In 2008, Soth started his own multi-media publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom, a multi-media enterprise focused on visual storytelling. Soth has published over twenty-five books including NIAGARA (2006), Fashion Magazine (2007), Dog Days, Bogotá (2007), The Last Days of W (2008), Broken Manual (2010), Songbook (2015), Gathered Leaves (2016), I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating (2019), and A Pound of Pictures (2022). Soth’s body of work has been widely praised and he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the PhotoVision Award (2008), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013) and the Royal Photographic Society Honorary Fellowship (2021).
His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; amongst others. Soth is also a member of Magnum Photos.
Soth lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Alec Soth, A Pound of Pictures, Sean Kelly, January - February 2022
Alec Soth in conversation with Rebecca Bengal, Artist talk and book signing, Saturday, January 15, 2022
Alec Soth Sleeping By The Mississippi, Museum Helmond, November 30, 2021
Photographing contemporary America with Alec Soth, NOWNESS, February 17, 2020
Sean Kelly, New York, April 4, 2019
Alec Soth + Stacey Baker: This is what enduring love looks like, Mar. 2015
ASX.TV: A Conversation with Alec Soth - On "Gathered Leaves" - at the Media Space, Science Museum (2015), Nov. 4, 2015
Alec Soth photographs loneliness in Silicon Valley, Nov. 7, 2013
Alec Soth: An American Photographer, Sep. 15, 2012
Alec Soth – Summer Nights at the Dollar Tree, Nov. 7, 2012
Alec Soth with Andrei Codrescu, Jul. 14, 2005
Photographer Alec Soth on a Life of Approaching Strangers, Jan. 5, 2011