THE FACE OF CONTEMPORARY MODERNITY

Lyonel Feininger, Untitled (Crystals Broken), 1927. Oil on canvas, 72 x 70 cm. Particular collection. Courtesy Moeller Fine Art, New York © Moeller Fine Art, New York © VEGAP, Madrid, 2017. Image courtesy of Juan March Foundation.

 

 

Lyonel feininger (1971-1956) was an American artist of German ancestry who was an essential for the artistic panorama of the avant-gardes. He began his training in music, encouraged by his parents who also shared that passion. At the age of 16 his life took a turn and began to experiment with drawing and illustration, his main passion. He entered the world of comics and his cartoons soon dressed the covers of American and German magazines. After consolidating his career in that genre, he became more and more determined by painting and this allowed him to freely develop his creative capacity.

 

 

Children Kin-der: The famous German artist Feininger presents the characters he will create. In The Chicago Sunday Tribune, April 29, 1906. Photomechanical print, 58 x 89 cm. © Moeller Fine Art, New York. © VEGAP, Madrid, 2017.

 


At the beginning of the twentieth century, he adopted more abstract language by entering into the knowledge of straight lines and fragmented planes of color. As early as 1919, Walter Gropius himself encouraged him to teach engraving at the Bauhaus and this was his task until its closure in 1932 by the Nazis. After this historical event he decided to move to the United States where he would continue to create until his death. Here, it is where the Juan March Foundation (Madrid) enters, which takes time expressing figures and movements little explored.

 

 

Zirchow VII (1918). Oil on canvas, 80.7 x 100.6 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington. © VEGAP, Madrid, 2017.

 

 

With Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), a retrospective of his entire career, he shows more than 400 works alternating techniques and styles that was adopted throughout his artistic life. Coming from public and private collections in Europe and the United States, they also deal with different topics such as caricature, satirical drawings, their fixation by bridges or the representation of such emblematic places as Paris or Manhattan. The exhibition is completed with a catalog that awaits inside the biography of the artist with essays and texts by well-known personalities such as Martin Faass or Sebastian Ehlert.

 

View of the exhibition

 

 

The director of the Foundation, Javier Gomá, along with the director of exhibitions Manuel Fontán assure that he is a figure that for many he fell into oblivion, and with this sample he wants to pay homage to what was a genius of his generation. The exhibition will run until May 28.

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.