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FOTOESPAÑA 2024 : Leica Gallery Madrid : LOEWE and the LOEWE Foundation : Surrealist Centenary

FOTOESPAÑA 2024 : Leica Gallery Madrid : LOEWE and the LOEWE Foundation : Surrealist Centenary

FOTOESPAÑA 2024 : Leica Gallery Madrid : LOEWE and the LOEWE Foundation : Surrealist Centenary

For PHOTOESPAÑA 2024, LOEWE and LOEWE Foundation present at Leica Gallery Madrid an exhibition showcasing Surrealism’s wide impact on photography, marking the centenary of André Breton’s work. Surrealist Manifesto published in 1924.

Following the First World War and against the background of Freudian psychoanalysis, Surrealism looked at the unconscious world of dreams and inner desires, embracing the creative possibilities of the human psyche. This exhibition illustrates how photography has provided a tool for manipulating the representation of reality, with various photographic techniques – from double exposures, interlaced negatives, photomontages and solarisation, to the use of absurd props and theatrical lighting – proving vital to the attempt surrealism to distort rational perceptions. of the world, to reconfigure our view of ourselves and take a more insightful look at what is real.

Works include an untitled photograph of a hooded woman next to a death mask by Kati Horna (1912-2000) Ode to necrophilia series (1962) – a significant example of Horna’s explorations of desire in the midst of loss and grief. In addition to surrealist icons such as Horna, Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) or Dora Maar (1907-1997), the exhibition presents numerous other photographers less considered part of the surrealist canon, but who nevertheless adopted playful, experimental approaches inspired by surrealism; these include practitioners such as André Kertész (1894-1985), Horst P. Horst (1906-1999), Tina Modotti (1896-1942) and Edward Weston (1886-1958). Primarily known as a fashion photographer, Horst P. Horst’s Robert Wilson in the Paul Walter chair (1990), for example, depicts a man in an oversized chair against a background of painted clouds, pushing the real against the artificial.

Using close-ups, body-altering costumes and unusual poses, the photographs of dance choreographer Martha Graham by Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) and Barbara Morgan (1900-1992) are charged with a strongly surreal sensibility, as are portraits of the playwright. Jean Cocteau by Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Lucien Clergue (1934-2014), Philippe Halsman (1906-1979), Germaine Krull (1897-1985) and Dora Maar.​

Surrealism’s long-term legacy is evident in the later works of artists such as Hiro (1930-2021), Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), Marion Scemama (b. 1950), Kiki Smith (b. 1954), David Wojnarowicz (1954 -1992) and Francesca Woodman (1958-1981). Highlights include Francesca Woodman’s black and white photographs of female figures and David Wojnarowicz’s unique mixed media work. new york (1988) – a collage that combines a steam train and a skeleton that borrows from the X-ray aesthetic.

With a nod to the International Exposition of Surrealism held in Mexico City in 1940, the exhibition highlights Latin America’s involvement and contribution to Surrealism. Works by Mexican artists such as Lola Álvarez Bravo (1903-1993), Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002), Rosa Covarrubias (1895-1970), María García (b. 1936) and Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942) illustrate Surrealism’s relationship with a region that was also home to a creative imagination that leaned toward the wondrous and fantastical—especially in the rise of magical realism.

Surrealist centenary
Until September 14th2024
Leica Gallery Madrid
C/ Ortega y Gasset 34
28006 Madrid