Tag Archives: Photography

Featured Exhibition: La España de Laurent (1856–1886). Un paseo fotográfico por la historia, Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, until 31 March 2019

Jean Laurent, known in Spain as Juan Laurent, is a fundamental figure in the history of Spanish photography and one of the pioneers of the medium in Europe. Born in Burgundy, Laurent moved to Madrid from Paris in 1844. In 1856 he opened a studio at 39 Carrera de San Jerónimo, previously the address of Charles Clifford, another famous early photographer. Laurent’s photographs portrayed Spain at a time of great political, social and cultural change. The holdings of his company, Casa Laurent y Cía, were acquired by the Ministerio de Cultura in 1975. This exhibition offers a wide-ranging introduction to this vast personal collection.

Click here for more information.

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Featured Exhibition: Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, MFA Boston, until 12 May 2019

iturbide-publication-coverThe photographs of Graciela Iturbide not only bear witness to Mexican society but express an intense personal and poetic lyricism about her native country. One of the most influential photographers active in Latin America today, Iturbide captures everyday life and its cultures, rituals, and religions, while also raising questions about paradoxes and social injustice in Mexican society. Her photographs tell a visual story of Mexico since the late 1970s—a country in constant transition, defined by the coexistence of the historical and modern as a result of the culture’s rich amalgamation of cultures. For Iturbide, photography is a way of life and a way of seeing and understanding Mexico and its beauty, challenges, and contradictions.

This is the first major East Coast presentation of Iturbide’s work, featuring approximately 125 photographs that span her five-decade-long career. Organised into nine sections, the exhibition opens with early photographs, followed by three series focused on three of Mexico’s many indigenous cultures: Juchitán captures the essential role of women in Zapotec culture; Los que viven en la arena (Those Who Live in the Sand) concentrates on the Seri people living in the Sonoran Desert; and La Mixteca documents elaborate goat-slaughtering rituals in Oaxaca, serving as critical commentary on the exploitation of workers. Thematic groupings highlight Iturbide’s explorations of various aspects of Mexican culture, including fiestas, death and mortality, and birds and their symbolism. Her more recent work is presented in two series related to Mexico’s cultural and artistic heritage, featuring plants—mainly cacti—in “intensive care” at the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Gardens, as well as El baño de Frida (Frida’s Bathroom), a selection of photographs in Gallery 335 depicting personal belongings in Frida Kahlo’s bathroom at the Casa Azul that had been locked away for 50 years after the artist’s death.

Iturbide’s powerful and provocative photographs are anti-picturesque, anti-folkloric. Her work embodies her empathetic approach to photography and her deep connection with her subjects, asking questions through its capacity for imaginary associations. Drawn primarily from Iturbide’s own collection, Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico also includes the Museum’s recent acquisition of 37 works by the artist, as well as loans from museums and private collections throughout the US and Mexico. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications.

Click here for more information on the exhibition, and here for the accompanying publication

Featured Exhibition: Descubriendo a Luis Masson, Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid, until 26 August

luis_masson-_interior_de_plaza_de_toros_y_catedral_de_sevilla-_1868_aprox

As part of the 20thanniversary edition of the mass photography display of contemporary and historic works, PHotoESPAÑA (6 June-26 August 2018, venues across Madrid, Barcelona and in Valencia), the Museo Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid will open an exhibition Descubriendo a Luis Masson commemorating the work of the French 19th-century photographer Luis Masson (born 1825), who produced a complete topographical photographic study of Spain and was also noted for his photographic reproductions of the works of Murillo. Masson established himself in Seville in 1858 with his wife, Lorenza Simonin, with whom he worked over the next eight years producing a wide range of architectural photographs, some stereoscopic, of Seville and other Andalucian cities and monuments, working in particular for the Duque de Montpensier. In 1866 he moved to Madrid, recording from there the cities of Toledo, Ávila, Valladolid, Salamanca and Burgos, before returning to Seville at the end of the 1870s, where he was last recorded in 1881.The photographs are selected from the private Colección Fernández Rivero de Fotografía Antigua, which owns about 35,000 original photographs ranging from the 1840s through to the early decades of the 20thcentury. It focuses its collections on Spanish images and in particular photographs created in Andalucia, with a special section on Málaga and its province.  The exhibition was previously shown (January-March 2018) at the Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía, Almería. An accompanying monograph by Juan Antonio Fernández Rivero and María Teresa García Ballesteros, Descubriendo a Luis Masson, fotógrafo en la España del XIX which inventories 511 of Masson’s photographs was published by  Ediciones del Genal, Málaga in 2017.

Closing Soon: Leo Matiz (1917-1998) muralista de la lente

quijote-leomatizLeo Matiz (1917-1998) muralista de la lente, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City. Closes 17 September 2017

Exhibition of 81 photographs by Colombian photographer and photojournalist Leo Matiz. Matiz established his reputation with his work in Mexico between 1941 and 1947, when he photographed artists and muralists such as Diego Rivera, Frieda Kahlo and David Siqueiros and became a close friends with José Clemente Orozco, as well as Latin American film stars and intellectuals and Spanish film directors such as Luís Buñuel. He subsequently mounted photographic campaigns in his native Colombia and in Venezuela in the 1950s, which were reproduced in periodicals such as Life and Paris Match. The exhibition also includes drawings, caricatures and Matiz’s notes to provide a context for his work.

For more information see the exhibition’s website

Art in Translation Special Issue: Spain and Orientalism

f-13259Art in Translation has announced the publication of a special issue on Spain and Orientalism, vol. 9:1 (2017), co-edited by Claudia Hopkins (University of Edinburgh) and Anna McSweeney (Warburg Institute).

This is the first English-language journal issue dedicated to Spanish Orientalism in art and visual culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. The peer-reviewed articles, drawn from a panel at the Association of Art Historians conference in 2016, examine Spain’s complex relationship with her Islamic past and with Morocco, through art, architecture, photography and material culture. They address a range of topics including patterns of collecting, the reproduction of Islamic art and architecture for private and public spaces, the role of Spain’s Islamic heritage in the construction of a national identity as exemplified in Spanish exhibition pavilions, the intersections between art and colonialism, and the role of Spanish art and visual culture in the wider debates about Orientalism.

Table of Contents:

Editorial: Spain and Orientalism, by Anna McSWEENEY and Claudia HOPKINS

The Arab Room of the Palacio de Cerralbo, by Ariane VARELA BRAGA

Reconstructing the Alhambra: Rafael Contreras and the Architectural Models of the Alhambra in the Nineteenth Century, by Asun GONZALEZ PEREZ

Mudéjar and the Alhambresque: Spanish Pavilions at the Universal Expositions and the Invention of a National Style, by Anna McSWEENEY

Vision, Lamentation and Nineteenth-Century Representations of the End of al-Andalus, by Oscar E. VÁZQUEZ

Allende el Estrecho (Beyond the Straits): The Photographic Gaze on the Orient in Andalusia and Morocco, by David SÁNCHEZ CANO

Visualizing ‘Moorish’ Traces within Spain: Orientalism and Medievalist Nostalgia in Spanish Colonial Photojournalism 1909-33, by Elisabeth BOLORINOS ALLARD

The Politics of Spanish Orientalism: Distance and Proximity in Tapiró and Bertuchi, by Claudia HOPKINS

Select Bibliography: Spain and Orientalism

The issue can be accessed online through Taylor and Francis Online.

News from the MNAC

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya has made two major acquisition during the summer.

baudiliusAt an auction held in Barcelona on 31 May 2017 they acquired a panel painting representing the Decapitation of Saint Baudilus, painted by Lluís Dalmau for the old Gothic high altarpiece in the parish church of Sant Boi de Llobregat (Baix Llobregat), one of the few works by the painter to have been conserved.
Lluís Dalmau was one of the principal artists working in Barcelona in the mid 15th century, and was employed at the court of King Alfonso IV. There are only two surviving documented works by this outstanding painter: the famous Virgin of the “Consellers”, made between 1443 and 1445, and the altarpiece from Sant Boi, dated to 1448. The Museu Nacional was able to purchase this exceptional work thanks to a donation by the Palarq Foundation. It will certainly become a well-loved masterpiece of the Museum’s impressive collection of Catalan Gothic painting.

maspons_x1500_caThey also acquired 200 photographs by Catalan photographer Oriol Maspons (Barcelona, 1928-2013), thanks to the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation. The new acquisition will enable the organisation of a major retrospective dedicated to this photographer in 2019. Moreover, the generosity of the Nando and Elsa Peretti fundation will enable researchers to study the over 7000 photographs and other photographic material deposited at the Museum by the photographer in 2010.

Featured Exhibition: Portraits

retratosRetratos. Colecciones Fundación MAPFRE de fotografía, Sala Fundación MAPFRE Recoletos (Paseo de Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid)

The exhibition ‘Retratos’ is on at the MAPFRE Foundation until 3 September 2017. Focusing on portraits in the twentieth century, the exhibition features photographs by Spanish and Latin American photographers such as Alberto García-Alix, Cristina García Rodero, Graciela Iturbide, Anna Malagrida, Fernando Maquieira. It is divided in four themes, ‘Cities,’ ‘Communities’ and ‘Artists and Models’ which attempt to embrace and reveal the complexity of contemporary portraiture.