ALL HEROES: LICHTENSTEIN IN THE CANAL FOUNDATION

The Canal Foundation opens an exhibition dedicated to the Lichtenstein posters on Thursday, October 4th. The designer facet of this artist has made him a global icon in the field of posters. In this showing, there will be a total of 76 pieces, many of them travelling to our country for the first time.

Roy Lichtenstein, “Crying Girl”, 1963

American Pop Art identifies with the work of three paradigmatic creators: Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, although each of them developed a unique and personal style that allows distinguishing their work within the pop movement. If Warhol opted to exploit the figure of the media-icons of the moment with techniques based on mass reproduction and copy-interventions, Lichtenstein focused on comics and the exploration of a likewise iconographic aesthetic, albeit starting with characters in vignettes. His plastic composition, closer to the printed images of newspapers and magazines, became a reference of this artistic style, based on the strong contrast of colours, the figures outlined on dotted backgrounds and the use of motifs connected with advertising and graphic novel.

Roy Lichtenstein, “M-Maybe”, 1965

His work, in fact, drinks from the trend of mass production where the importance of the single piece, a symbol of a period already surpassed in the history of art, is left aside, to focus on gaining visibility through infinite copies. This approach to artistic creation is only a sign of the moment, a time when factories and industry reach the peak of their productivity and need a public, avid of objects to feel part of a hyper-consumer society.

Roy Lichtenstein, “Sunrise”, 1965

Paradoxically, the motifs chosen by Lichtenstein for his multiple copies ironise on the inherited standards of a society already transformed, but that resists change by imposing clichés and stereotypes. His pieces of women with kitchen tools, trapped in the inertia of everyday life, or the faces of young ladies in distress, with a standardised beauty representative of the pin-up canons still present in the comics, collide with the changing course of times where individualism gains prominence against the homogenisation of tastes and patterns of consumption. Feeling unique in the magma of globalisation, in a moment of artistic awakening in which such a concept had not even been named, is an almost visionary position that Lichtenstein manages to convey without falling into the drama or losing the freshness and visual force of his creative proposal.

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.