Paolo Gasparini. Field of Images

JUN.01.2022          AUG.28.2022

Campaña electoral Avda. Urdaneta, Caracas, Venezuela, 1968

Paolo Gasparini
Electoral Campaign, avenida Urdaneta, Caracas, 1968
Fundación MAPFRE Collections
© Paolo Gasparini

Home > Art and Culture > Exhibitions > Past exhibitions > 2022 Exhibitions > Paolo Gasparini. Field of Images



JUN.01.2022        AUG.28.2022


Recoletos Exhibition Hall
Paseo Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid

Paolo Gasparini is the photographer who has best portrayed the cultural tensions and contradictions of the South American continent. His images convey the harsh social reality faced by a region whose cultural authenticity is unquestionable, and where the past and local traditions parley with a clumsily imposed modernity.

Gasparini creates an oeuvre with its own visual language that always seems to express a criticism of consumer society while at the same time revealing a certain obsession with the way we are seduced by marketing and advertising.

Italian by birth yet Venezuelan in spirit, through his work the photographer has tried to eliminate the ethnocentric visions and stereotypes that have historically defined Latin America, almost always in terms of ‘the other’, fueled by the different populisms and nationalisms the region has endured.

Curator: María Wills Londoño

The work of Paolo Gasparini enables us to understand not only the differences between Europe and Latin America, but also the tremendous diversity of the latter region, ranging from Mexico to the southernmost tip of the Andes.

The exhibition is divided into sixteen sections that feature the artist’s most important projects over more than six decades of work, with an emphasis on his photobooks, which the photographer recognizes as a means of expression that is just as valid as his photographs.

Download the exhibition brochure (3 MB)

Download the exhibition texts (3 MB)

Poster “The Angel of History” (3 MB)

To See You Better, Latin America (1972): As well as being one of Gasparini’s best-known photobooks, To See You Better, Latin America gave rise to the texts for the exhibition presented at Fundación MAPFRE: The Journey.

The author’s approach to visual culture stems from movement, because while he walks, he portrays, and in this wandering, he reveals the poetry in his work, influenced by urban tragedy, revealing all its vitality amid the chaos. The book is supported by texts by the writer Edmundo Desnoes which address the difference between seeing and looking. This project reflects the urban, social and cultural landscape of Latin America, a continent divided ideologically between socialism and capitalism, where images of Marlboro or Pepsi coexist with those of Che and the Child Jesus, revealing an imagery invaded by messages that are simultaneously political and promotional.

The book arose as a result of the trips Gasparini made through Latin America with the historian Damián Bayón as part of a UNESCO commission to record the continent’s architecture between 1970 and 1972 and to illustrate Bayón’s research.

Il senno di poi: In his work, the artist tends to break with the timescales of his series, revisiting images that he made a long time ago with more recent ones. This is what he himself denotes as il senno di poi: “[…] I mean, with the wisdom of hindsight. I associated images by linking them with different themes, places and dates, trying to organize a new discourse which, through architecture and certain aspects of daily life in the city, would point to a reinterpretation of Caracas in its past and future, representing social, political and cultural contradictions.”

Committed photography: Coinciding with the unrest of the 1960s in Cuba and echoing the nationalisms and populisms that plague Latin America, Paolo Gasparini felt a moral imperative not only to reflect the events actually taking place but also to take a stance alongside the discourse of left-wing intellectuals who, at that time, were advocating for a form of social art that would do justice to these events. Today that commitment is still as valid as ever and, through his work, the artist continues to denounce all forms of extremism.

Here you can choose whether to visit the entire Gasparini exhibition on your own, or with the interesting explanations of  María Wills, its curator. The visit corresponds to the earlier presentation in our Barcelona exhibition hall (KBr Fundación MAPFRE, Sept. 2021 – Jan. 2022), organized in exactly the same way and with the same number of photographs.

Go to the Virtual Tour

If you would like to contact the Communication Department to request the press dossier, high-resolution images or for any other matter, please complete the form below giving the name of the medium/media for which you require this information.

You may also like
Le Marchand de bestiaux [The cattle dealer], c. 1922-1923
Petit CHR, Pigalle, París, 1955
Tennessee, 1950
Grupo de hombres alrededor de un pequeño estanque, décadas de 1910-1920