Photography and Architecture in Spain, 1925-1965
Project info

With the exhibition Modern Photography and Architecture in Spain, 1925-1965, the ICO Museum explicitly presents, for the first time in our country, an approach to the role of photography in the Spanish architectonic modernity. This exhibition is part of the official program of the PHotoEspana 2014 festival.

The exhibition presents over 250 images related to modern architecture, shot by near 40 photographers throughout more than 4 decades. Catala-Roca, Pando, Kindel, Paco Gomez, Schommer, Muller, Ferriz, Luis Llado or Margaret Michaelis, among others, are some of the photographers whose works are displayed in this exhibition. Their cameras documented the most remarkable architectures of modernity –and others less well known– created by architects who orchestrated the Spanish modern adventure, such as Jose Manuel Aizpurua, Josep Lluis Sert, Alejandro de la Sota, Miguel Fisac, Jose Antonio Coderch, Francisco Javier Saenz de Oiza, Javier Carvajal or Fernando Higueras.

The purpose of the exhibition Modern Photography and Architecture in Spain, 1925-1965, curated by the architect and photographer Inaki Bergera, is not to illustrate an album of the history of modern architecture in Spain, or to definitively present the best projects through their images, or to show the best Catala-Roca, Kindel, Pando or Gomez.

"The agreed selection of two hundred photographs, out of the individualized documentation of a total of six hundred, ensures the representativeness of this chronological diversity of typologies, episodes, architects and photographers, a puzzle of puzzles which, in the exhibition, composes a new multi-faceted image of images," points out the curator.

In short, it is an invitation to reflect on the role of both the photography and the photographers in the progression of architecture through a first significant selection of images which has not, to date, together with the remaining photographic heritage of our architecture, received the merited and required specific attention.

The exhibition tries to reveal and unveil, for the first time, the way photography expressed and contributed to spread the image of the Spanish architecture within the Modern Movement.

Bergera notes that "modern architecture was created by force of steel, concrete and glass, but was consolidated and grew thanks to the dissemination of its images. Subsequently, its historiography was substantially structured on the basis of its irrefutable documentary source: photographs." And he clarifies that "the revolutionary nature, derived from the modern avant-garde, found in photography the appropriate instrument to disseminate its media and propagandist coverage, valuing such architectonic objects as paradigmatic icons to be emulated. At the same time, committed architects understood that their buildings’ photographs were the final crystallization of their work, and what finally transcended for the purposes of their personal recognition and satisfaction. In these two-way needs, the figure of the architecture photographer was consecrated as the technician –and, perhaps, the artist– specialized in shaping this particular visual chronicle."