Organised by Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Curators: Jorge Ribalta and David Balsells
The MNAC is preparing a major retrospective exhibition of the work of the photographer Joan Colom (Barcelona, 1921). The exhibition takes us on an exhaustive tour of every period and all the subject matter that made him the great renovating force in Spanish post-war photography and in the most representative photographer of the so-called New Avant-Garde of the 1950s and 60s.
It will also be presenting the results of a detailed study of the photographer's archives, which recently entered the museum and which contain more than 9,000 photographic prints on paper, as well as negatives, an 8 mm film and all his documentation.
On show will be the photographs taken between 1958 and 1961, when Colom regularly ventured into Barcelona's red-light district, furtively recording the life of its streets, the curious characters roaming there and compromising moments in the business of prostitution. The exhibition also includes the reportages he made in the Somorrostro and Born neighbourhoods and the ones of bullfighting. Also present are colour photographs, most of them never before seen in public, taken from the 1990s on, when Colom returned to photography, having chosen to give it up in 1964.
Joan Colom's chief subject matter is street life and its actors and his work combines scenes from often down and out neighbourhoods with modern reportage.
In 1999 the MNAC organised the exhibition The Street. Joan Colom at the Sala Aixelà, 1961. On this occasion, it aims to review the complete works of one of the key figures for our understanding of 20th-century photography.