Berenice Abbott, “scientist” and documentalist

Physical phenomena in the work of Berenice Abbott

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Our exhibitions are not only available for viewing in our exhibition rooms in Madrid and Barcelona. Once they have been shown in Spain, our aim is to share them. One of our objectives is to maintain the quality and cultural interest of all the projects we organize so that, through our collaborations with institutions of national and international prestige, we can bring culture to the largest possible audience around the world.

One of these exhibitions, which is currently showing at SK Stiftung Kultur, in Cologne (Germany), is Berenice Abbott. Portraits of Modernity, which was previously shown at our exhibition rooms in Madrid and Barcelona, finishing in Cologne an itinerary that also took in Amsterdam.

The idea of modernity imbues all of Berenice Abbott’s work, from her portraits of the most avantgarde artists and intellectuals of the time and her breathtaking vistas of the city of New York to her scientifically-themed photographs in which she portrays the results of different phenomena and experiments.

Berenice Abbott started working on her photographs of scientific experiments and phenomena in the late 1950s as a member of the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The archives of this prestigious institution are home to a large number of these images. On viewing them, we once again bear witness to the duality that runs through all her work: these are photographs that document physical phenomena (and were, in fact, used to illustrate textbooks) yet at the same time showcase Abbott’s remarkable imagination and creativity. In each of them she offers unexpected solutions to the task of ‘documenting’ – handling with incredible mastery an ambiguous and powerful play of light which somehow transports us to her old photographs of New York.

This week we would like to invite you to use your imagination and creativity in capturing an image of your home in the style of the scientific photographs taken by Abbott. Perhaps a hand soap pump… let your imagination run wild!

At this link you can find more information about the exhibition on Berenice Abbott in our exhibition rooms.

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