Art and culture
Brooklyn Promenade, Brooklyn, 1954
Courtesy of Louis Stettner Archive, Paris
© Louis Stettner
The diversity of the themes he covers and the permanent social component of his images are the main features of the work of the American Louis Stettner (1922-2016). This exhibition aims to make a decisive contribution to the recognition of his extensive and fascinating career.
With a life that straddled New York and Paris, without ever attaching himself to either city to the detriment of the other, he remained rooted in two worlds at a time when most photographers related to only one. In this sense, his work refers to the aesthetics of both New York street photography and the poetic vision of the urban French tradition, always against the background of his social concern and his efforts to reflect the dignity of human beings.
Beauty salon, Milan, 2022
© Anastasia Samoylova
The Image Cities project by russian-american photographer Anastasia Samoylova was the winning application in the first edition of the KBr Photo Award, launched by Fundación MAPFRE IN 2021. The project is a unique visual study of the integration between photographic images and the urban environment, usually made up of superimposing collages. The project, which began in Moscow and New York in 2021, has been extended to other cities including Amsterdam, Paris, London, Brussels, Tokyo, Madrid and Barcelona and as part of the KBr Photo Award.
Men Reading «El Machete», ca. 1929
Fundación Televisa Collection and Archive
It is almost impossible to separate the facets of artist/photographer and revolutionary/anti-fascist militant in the biographical and professional career of Tina Modotti (Udine, 1896-Mexico City, 1942). This exhibition offers for the first time a close reconstruction of her life and career in which these aspects are tightly linked, with a special attention to her activity in Spain in the years preceding the Spanish Civil War and in the central period of the conflict.
Barcelona. Plaza del Comercio, antes de Palacio, 4 de junio de 1872
Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid
Jules Ainaud’s Catalonia (1871-1872)
Between 1871 and 1872 Jules Ainaud (Lunel, 1837-Barcelona, 1900) travelled around Catalonia on behalf of the Laurent studio, the most important firm of the time in the production and marketing of photographic images. The exhibition presents the result of that work, the authorship of which was diluted in the Laurent brand without Ainaud ever obtaining the recognition that his images deserve as an outstanding episode in the history of our photography.
Bleda y Rosa
Mercado [Market]. Door of the Miletus market. Pergamon Museum, Berlin, 2021. Series Tipologies
© Bleda y Rosa, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2023
Bleda y Rosa
Dialectics. Tales of memory. Landscape.
Without a doubt, María Bleda (Castellón, 1969) and José María Rosa (Albacete, 1970) are one of the most unique artistic duos on the contemporary Spanish photographic scene. For three decades they have been exploring together, through rigorous and profound visual research, the dialectic between landscape and territory, between history and memory, between image and text.
Winners of the 2008 National Photography Prize, Bleda and Rosa have developed a language of their own, between the visual and the textual, as a means of reflecting on the different meanings and evocations that the human gaze conjures in contemplation of the landscape, as reflected in the series Campos de fútbol [Footbal pitches], Campos de batalla [Battlefields], Origen [Origin] and Prontuario [Compendium]. For the first time ever, this exhibition brings together their entire body of work, presented in a video installation where projections invite us to experience their art with other contemplative rhythms.
Judith Joy Ross
Untitled, Eurana Park, Weatherly, Pensilvania, 1982
© Judith Joy Ross, courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne
Judith Joy Ross
Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA.
Personal. Portraiture. Existencial.
Through her lens, the American photographer Judith Joy Ross explores the emotional world of those around her, seeking to answer existential questions. Influenced by Lewis Hine, August Sander and Diane Arbus, the photographer has become one of the most influential artists in the portrait genre, demonstrating that she is capable of capturing the present, past and future of the individuals who happen across her camera.
In the 1980s, after several trips to Europe, Ross acquired an 8 x 10 inch camera so that she could take portraits of “ordinary people” in public places, usually working class individuals, like herself, with whom she establishes a unique relationship. Through her photographs she does not seek to glorify or judge the subjects she portrays, simply to portray their most human side.
Carlos Pérez Siquier
© Pérez Siquier, VEGAP, Madrid, 2023
Carlos Pérez Siquier
The edge of society. Culture shock. Color.
Carlos Pérez Siquier (1930-2021), a leading figure in the forging of photographic modernism and the professionalizing of this medium in Spain, enjoyed a prominent place on the Spanish scene, firstly for his neorealism work and later as a pioneer of color photography. This artistic endeavor earned him the National Photography Award in 2003.
His photographic series deal with the edge of society, the visual alterations triggered in the environment by the Franco-era developmentalism, and the cultural shock produced by the enormous influx of foreign tourists in Spain, up to his retreat, in the latter stages of his life, to more personal spheres. As a retrospective, this exhibition covers his most iconic series, produced between 1957 and 2018, with an important number of previously unpublished images and documentary contributions that enrich his discourse.
Wall Street, New York, 1915
Fundación MAPFRE Collections
© Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive
Paul Strand. Direct beauty. Photographs from the Fundación MAPFRE Collections
Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris
Straight photography. Abstraction. Documentary.
Born in New York, Paul Strand (1890-1976) was a man ahead of his time, fusing socially committed photography with more modern trends that explored naturalness, laying the foundations of what would later be known as “straight photography”. This artistic process stemmed from his knowledge of contemporary art derived from his relationship with artists and theorists, such as Alfred Stieglitz, together with his intuition and his capacity for synthesis.
The exhibition features a wide selection (110 images) of Strand’s photographs from Fundación MAPFRE’s collection, focusing on the different themes explored by the artist: geometries, landscapes, portraits and countries. Therefore, it does not only include his landscapes and urban scenes, marked both by a search for abstraction and a documentary approach, but also a number of anonymous faces portrayed with great naturalness, offering us an intimate perspective.