Exhibitions Arissa. The Shadow and the Photographer, 1922-1936
Exhibitions Arissa. The Shadow and the Photographer, 1922-1936

The exhibition ‘Arissa. The Shadow and the Photographer, 1922-1936’ aims to resurrect the figure of Antoni Arissa, one of the most outstanding Spanish representatives of avant-garde photography whose work has remained almost unknown for eight decades.

Espacio Fundación Telefónica
C/ Fuencarral, 3, Madrid
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04
Jun 2014
28
Sep 2014
L M X J V S D
10:00 - 20:00

The exhibition ‘Arissa. The Shadow and the Photographer, 1922-1936’ aims to resurrect the figure of Antoni Arissa, one of the most outstanding Spanish representatives of avant-garde photography whose work has remained almost unknown for eight decades.

The exhibition ‘Arissa. The Shadow and the Photographer, 1922-1936’ aims to resurrect the figure of Antoni Arissa, one of the most outstanding Spanish representatives of avant-garde photography whose work has remained almost unknown for eight decades. This is the first retrospective exhibition devoted to the photographer. The project continues the strategy of recovering photographic archives instigated by the Telefónica Foundation, which started with the company’s own Photographic Archive and subsequently expanded with photographers such as Luis Ramón Marín, Josep Brangulí and Virxilio Vieitez.

The exhibition, curated by Valentín Vallhonrat and Rafael Levenfeld, comprises more than 160 black and white photographs which cover his professional career through three main stylistic blocks: pictorialism (1922 – 1928); his evolution towards the visual solutions of modernity through to the start of the New Vision in the Thirties (1930 – 1936), when Arissa immersed himself fully in the ranks of avant-garde photography.

Early days: the pictorialist phase

Antoni Arissa (Sant Andreu, 1900 – Barcelona, 1980) first started as a photographer in the early 1920s, combining his photographic work with the family printing business. His early days were enshrined in the pictorialist movement which emerged in 1890 through photographic associations and societies whose aim was to get photography recognised as an artistic discipline. They distanced themselves from documentary photography and  embraced a variety of artistic movements, from Pre-Raphaelitism to Symbolism.

This was the period when Arissa produced his first works as a pictorialist photographer, portraying rural scenes, the iconography of the countryside in pre-prepared settings, literary descriptions of an Arcadia in which traditional values still endure, and images of children that echo the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm or Perrault.

Evolution towards the New Vision

In the early 1930s he advanced towards more modern photography, divested of the ornamentation and symbolist references of pictorialism and moving towards the approach of Central European photography, characterized by composition, form, line, perspective and a lighting that accentuated the features and intention of the photographic objects.

This was the path towards photographic conceptualization, rejecting the dogma of pictorialism with work that concentrated on small details. Both the family and his own home became the scenarios of his work: the house, the garden, the pathways, everyday objects and his own daughters were transformed into graphic elements. Little by little, his closest circle opened up outside the family nucleus and he started shooting street scenes and the port of Barcelona. From this time onwards, any fragment of reality would become an object of his photographic activities.

At the end of the Spanish Civil War, with the disappearance of media outlets disseminating modernism, Arissa’s cut back on his artistic activity and he gradually fell into obscurity. In the early 1990s, the exhibition Las vanguardias fotográficas en España (Avant-garde Photography in Spain), featured six of Arissa’s photographs, thus sparking off the process of resurrecting his name.

The exhibition has an audioguide with additional content which is available free of charge (it can also be downloaded for tablets and smartphones) in the lobby of the exhibition space and a catalogue featuring the photos on display and some documents and magazines from the period.

 

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    Legal Notice – PRIVACY POLICY  
    In accordance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 December 1999, on the Protection of Personal Data, you are informed that the data collected by this form will be added to an automated personal database owned by Fundación Telefónica, S.A. This automated database has been duly registered with the Spanish Data Protection Agency with the purpose of “Users registered for sharing information and content via the website and portals of Fundación Telefónica, or any other medium, in order to enhance learning and increase knowledge, connecting people and institutions to contribute to the development of the individuals and communities who will constitute the society of the future.” Fundación Telefónica, with registered address at Gran Vía 28, 28013 Madrid, as the owner of the database, guarantees that users may exercise their right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose the use of these data by sending a letter accompanied by a copy of their identity document to Fundación Telefónica at the abovementioned address. By providing the requested information, users expressly consent to the inclusion of their data in the Fundación Telefónica database in accordance with the purposes described above. The user will be held solely liable in the event that forms are completed with false, inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information.

In accordance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 December 1999, on the Protection of Personal Data, you are informed that the data collected by this form will be added to an automated personal database owned by Fundación Telefónica, S.A. This automated database has been duly registered with the Spanish Data Protection Agency with the purpose of “Users registered for sharing information and content via the website and portals of Fundación Telefónica, or any other medium, in order to enhance learning and increase knowledge, connecting people and institutions to contribute to the development of the individuals and communities who will constitute the society of the future.” Fundación Telefónica, with registered address at Gran Vía 28, 28013 Madrid, as the owner of the database, guarantees that users may exercise their right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose the use of these data by sending a letter accompanied by a copy of their identity document to Fundación Telefónica at the abovementioned address. By providing the requested information, users expressly consent to the inclusion of their data in the Fundación Telefónica database in accordance with the purposes described above. The user will be held solely liable in the event that forms are completed with false, inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information.