Friday, June 13, 2008

PHotoEspaña 2008

There are a whole series of exhibitions currently on in Madrid to mark PHotoEspaña 2008. Today I visited an impressive exhibition of work by the American photographer W. Eugene Smith at the Teatro Fernán Gómez in Madrid's Plaza Colon. It's a free exhibition and is open from Tuesday to Saturday until the 27th July. Smith worked for Life magazine and for the legendary Magnum agency amongst others. The exhibition includes work from World War 2 and and also from projects Smith undertook following the daily work of a midwife and a country doctor in the US. Internationally he portrayed the work of Albert Schweitzer, and also shot a series of images around an industrial pollution case in Japan. For those of us living in Spain the main highlight of the exhibition has to be the photographs he took in the Extremaduran town of Deleitosa in the 1950's. The Spain portrayed in these images is unrecognisable to those accustomed to the modern face of the country, with their portrait of the grim reality of life in post-Civil War Spain. The exhibition is recommended for these photographs alone.

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