Fotografía pública / Photography in Print 1919-1939

27 april, 1999 - 29 june, 1999 /
Sabatini Building, Floor 3
Exhibition view. Fotografía pública / Photography in Print 1919-1939, 1999
Exhibition view. Fotografía pública / Photography in Print 1919-1939, 1999

During the interwar years photography develops in Europe as a language of its own, different and independent from traditional arts where possible, both in objectivity and in experimentation. In a period of just two decades artistic photography is perfected (dependant on models of traditional arts) and there is an increase in photojournalism, subordinate to present and immediate feedback. This results in the drift of modern photography towards photojournalism and photographic documentation: Farm Security Administration in the United States, Mass Observation in the United Kingdom, Misiones Pedagógicas (Educational Missions) in Spain, as well as the proliferation of photographic magazines that connect specifically with the mass media, such as Life and Fortune. This exhibition brings together an extensive collection of works, names and media -about a thousand pieces by artists from around the world: photographers, designers, editors, photography editors, poster and publicity artists- over which this era of experimentation is forged as well as the maturity of the technique. Studying it results in the emergence of new issues, in the spirit of the time (technical, city, body, work, abstraction or propaganda) and the appearance of an entire network of spreading and distribution of images and publications due to technical advances in the publishing industry. In these years new ways of communication specific for or dedicated to the publishing of photographs arise: yearbooks, photo-books, newspapers, posters or advertisements, in such a way that modern photography is made public and expands its horizons of consumption, favouring, conversely, mass culture.

Experiments made by photographers and designers in the interwar years, such as: direct photography (Straight Photography) photography without a camera (photograms), the photographic montage, the use of striking perspectives, the contrast in diagonal lines, fragmentation or "photo-type" determine the visual culture of the century, which show influences between photography and other events such as film or literature. Books like Reger-Patzsch: Die Welt ist Schön (The World is Beautiful) (1928), that of Germaine Krull: Métal (1928), or those of Moholy-Nagy, became models of leading photographic styles and grammars of the themes, techniques and framing of the new photography, which creates a new way to approach the changing world and then recognise it.

The main exhibition room is designed as an urban space that presents modern photography in its own environment: it shows the excess of visual information that is being produced at that time and the means being used to do it. The lighting, projections and aural environment underline this appearance (sound collage has been created expressly by the artist Pedro G. Romero). Panels, tables and cabinets show, among other themes: the new vision of the modern city, its inhabitants, the labourer’s body, the history of every nation, nature, the technique and work.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Horacio Fernández
Exhibition Tour: 

Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao (September - November, 1999); Centro Cultural La Rioja, Logroño (February - March, 2000)

Berenice Abbott, Maks Alpert, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Emilio Amero, Mauricio Amster, Eugène Atget, Willi Baumeister, Herbert Bayer, Lester Beall, Cecil Beaton, Hans Bellmer, Aenne Biermann, Joseph Binder, Max Bittrof, Karl Blossfeldt, Edwin Blumenfeld, Pierre Boucher, Margaret Bourke-White, Bill Brandt, Brassaï (Gyula Halász), Fritz Brill, Alexey Brodovitch, Anton Bruehl, Francis Joseph Bruguière, Wim Brusse, Max Burchartz, Claude Cahun, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gabriel Casas, Pere Català Pic, Imogen Cunningham, Walter Dexel, Cesar Domela, Alfred Ehrhardt, Hermann Eidenbanz, Dick Elffers, Walker Evans, Andreas Feininger, Hans Finsler, Hannes Flach, Semion Fridliand, Walter Funkat, Jaromír Funke, Hein Gorny, Heinz Hajek-Halke, John Havinden, John Heartfield, Florence Henri, Hanna Höch, Emil Otto Hoppé, George Hoyningen-Huene, Georges Hugnet, Boris Ignatovich, Kimura Ihei, Agustín Jiménez, Grit Kallin, Domon Ken, Gyorgy Kepes, André Kertész, Gerard Kiljan, Koishi Kiyoshi, Gustav Klucis, Germaine Krull, Valentina Kulagina, Dorothea Lange, Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris), Hans y Grete Leistikow, Helmar Lerski, Lilliput, El Lissitzky (Lazar Markovich Lissitzky), Herbert List, Eli Lotar, Edward Macknight Kauffer, Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky), Horino Masao, Herbert Matter, Erich Mendelsohn, Margaret Michaelis, Tina Modotti, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, William Mortensen, Bruno Munari, Martin Munkacsi, Paul Nash, Paul Outerbridge, Amédée Ozenfant, Cecilio Paniagua, Roger Parry, Juan José Pedraza Blanco, Walter Peterhans, Georgi Petrusov, Natalia Pinus, Nicolai Prusakov, Mariano Rawicz, Josep Renau, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Hans y Erich Retzlaff, Hans Richter, Ringl + Pit (Grete Stern y Ellen Auerbach), Robert Capa (André Ernö Friedmann), Aleksandr Ródchenko, Zdenek Rossmann, Josep Sala, Erich Salomón, Roger Schall, Gotthard Schuh, Paul Schuitema, Serguei Senkin, Arkadij Shaijet, Charles Sheller, Edward Jean Steichen, Ralph Steiner, Varvara Stepanova, Vladimir y Georgi Sternberg, Alfred Stieglitz, Sasha Stone, Jindrich Styrsky, Ladislav Sutnar, Maurice Tabard, Karen Teige, Solomon Telingater, Nicolai Troshin, Georg Trump, Jan Tschichold, Umbo (Otto Umbehr), Paul Urban, José Val del Omar, Wolfgang Weber, Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig), Edward Weston, Paul Wolff, Nojima Yasuko, Ylla (Camilla Koffler), Natori Yonosuke, Piet Zwart View more