Fotos: 0031 i 0032, El Carrer, 1961. Joan Colom. © MNAC, 2012Photo home:
The complete archives of Joan Colom (Barcelona 1921), consisting of more than 9,000 photographic prints, as well as negatives, an 8 mm film and all his documentation, is entering the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya at the photographer's request.
The Minister of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Ferran Mascarell, the President of the MNAC, Miquel Roca, and the Director of the MNAC, Pepe Serra, explained the agreement at a press conference also attended by Joan Colom.
Colom was the great renovator of photography in the years after the Spanish Civil War and the most representative figure of what is called the 'new avant-garde' of the 1950s and 1960s, along with Català Roca, Miserachs, Maspons, Masats, Forcano, Colita and Leopoldo Pomés.
The collection now entering the Museum contains his entire work, from photographs taken between 1958 and 1961, when the photographer regularly ventured into Barcelona's red-light district, El Somorrostro and El Born, and the reportages he produced on the subject of bullfights.
Joan Colom's great topic has always been the street and the characters who hang about there. The result is pictures that combine neighbourhood life, often low life, with modern photo-reportage.
Colom chose to give up photography in 1964 and didn't take it up again until the 1990s. Also in the archives now entering the MNAC are the colour images, most of them never before seen in public, taken after that time and practically up to the present day.
The MNAC, which in 1999 organised the exhibition The Street. Joan Colom at the Sala Aixelà, 1961, already had the 50 original images in its collection, to which are now added Joan Colom's archives. These will now become public and available to researchers, museums and institutions for consultation. These archives are essential for an understanding of the photography of the 1950s and 1960s and a valuable addition to the MNAC's photography collection.
JOAN COLOM ALTEMIR De la sèrie Districte 5è. Barcelona, cap a 1960