Art Madrid'24 – The Great depression documentary and photography at IVAM Valencia

 

 

 

The financial meltdown after the crash of the US stock market in 1929 starts one of the saddest periods in our recent history, in contrast to the so-called "happy 20s", full of optimism of the middle classes in the welfare state. The Great Depression, however, was time of hunger, forced migration, of unemployment rates never seen before, the American dream vanished... and there was a new style of photography, "Photography of the truth" .

 

 

Before, photography had sought pictorialism and the formal complexity of Soviet avant-garde (photomontage, new vision, ...). Now, photographers portrayed the changes in American popular culture with simplicity and sharpness, checking reality without additives.

 

 

 

 

Now, the IVAM of Valencia collects these portraits and life stories, these landscapes that allowed us - the future generations- to know the depth of the US economic crisis of the 30s in an exhibition entitled "Documentary Photography in America. 30s".

 

 

 

 

A selection of 200 photos of some of the most important photographers of the time as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Carl Mydans, Arthur Rothstein, Jack Delano, Marion Post, Gordon Parks and Russell Lee, all members of the program of the Farm Security Administration (FSA. 1935-1944), developed within the Roosevelts's New Deal to "demonstrate graphically how his people rose from poverty", explains Ramón Escrivá IVAM conservative, but, in contrast, was the largest coral portrait of desolation, misery and the emancipation of the American farmer with clean portraits of the first immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, working children, starving mothers, evicted families...

 

 

 

 

Escriva emphasizes that "it is the first time that someone carries out such a study of documentation like this in Spain". A project - the FSA - that recorded more than 270,000 images (nowadays, 170,000 of these photographs are preserved by the American Congress), of the rural farmers and peasants of the United States, plus the identity of a country that had broken its pattern of life.

 

 

 

To contextualize the works on display, the exhibition includes documentary films, illustrated magazines of the time like Life, Look, or Fortune and photo books, as the first made by the MOMA in New York in 1938. These media were instrumental in spreading the project FSA and an essential documentation to understanding the political propaganda of the time.

“I paint in a completely free way, I don't have a plan, it's chaotic, but everything has a reason. I don't prepare anything before I start painting, what I paint is what I feel or try to communicate at that moment, so it changes a lot (from one work to another)”.

Chão limpo e o resto. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

Cultura Inquieta once again joins the experience of discovering and celebrating creative talent within the broad spectrum of artistic expressions present at Art Madrid'24. As a supporter of culture and contemporary art, its commitment to promoting and supporting emerging artists is reflected in a special initiative in this edition: highlighting and supporting the work of the REVELATION ARTIST of the 19th edition.

Só durmo na minha almofada. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

In this context, Ana Malta emerges into the contemporary art scene with a fresh voice and her own visual aesthetic. Born in Lisbon in 1996, Malta is a talented visual artist and freelance designer who has captivated the public with her distinctive approach and bold exploration of the beauty of everyday spaces through her investigations of color.

Her studies in Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, as well as her Master's Degree in Creative Industries Management at the Catholic University of Portugal in Porto, have provided a solid foundation for her artistic practice. Currently, she also collaborates in the Communication and Production Office of Carpintarias de São Lázaro - Centro Cultural e Galeria Belo-Galsterer, showing her commitment to the cultural fabric of her community. She is also part of the artistic collective VÊS.TRÊS.

Ana Malta has been recognized in several platforms and media, including the 14th Edition of QUADRANTE, Melancia Mag and the SCROLL program of the RTP2 channel. Her participation in the book (AS)ARTISTAS - Ensaio Gráfico sobre Histórias e Práticas Artísticas no Feminino and in the April 21st Edition of Nova Awareness Club underlines her impact and relevance in the contemporary art scene.

Só um é que ganha. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

Ana Malta's work is characterized by her exploration of color, patterns, composition, and texture. These elements are not only vehicles of her plastic and visual expression, but also embody an intimate dialogue between aesthetic restlessness and the transformation of error into opportunity.

It is exciting to see Ana Malta make her debut at Art Madrid'24, represented by Galeria São Mamede (STAND B3). Her presence promises to further enrich the artistic experience of the event, inviting the public to approach the visually captivating and conceptually stimulating universe that the artist creates to narrate the chaos she rearranges in shapes and colors.

Não fico pendurada. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

In a world in constant movement, Ana Malta reminds us of the importance of experimentation and continuous exploration in the search for authentic and sincere artistic expression.

Her work has been REVEALED to us in the 19th edition of ART MADRID, thanks to the precise point of view of CULTURA INQUIETA as a testimony of the transforming power of art. In her hands, the entropy of forms brings us the possible memory of an endless summer; the luminosity of the sun becomes the caress of everyday life; we may even be surprised by the formula of happiness turned into a companion animal.

Ana Malta's pieces combines the restlessness of a space that appears to be in a state of chaos with the delicate synesthesia of vibrating at the velocity of light, nuances, lines and colors in her paintings.